Stats: Arsenal's WORST shooting accuracy of the season comes in 1-0 loss

N'Zonzi, Mertesacker, Whelan

The fine lines of a football match were illustrated by Arsenal's narrow loss to Stoke.

Stoke City midfielder Steven N'Zonzi has stated that he feels Arsenal simply couldn't cope with his side's approach at the weekend.

He told The Mirror: "If they don’t like it, we don’t care. We will keep on doing it, being strong and trying to be as good as we can be on the ball."

When it came to contesting the ball in the air, Arsenal did indeed lose more aerial battles than they have done in any game so far this Premier League season.

TeamMatchMatchdayAerial LostAerial Won
Arsenal Stoke vs Arsenal 28 28 24
Arsenal Newcastle vs Arsenal 19 27 18
Arsenal Arsenal vs Chelsea 17 27 19
Arsenal Man Utd vs Arsenal 11 26 20
Arsenal Crystal Palace vs Arsenal 09 20 13

Yet the stats show they won 24 of their own, so it wasn't as though they were the pushovers, in this area at least, that some may make them out to be.

Arsenal had a win-loss differential in terms of aerial duels of -4, losing the game 1-0, while against Newcastle they ended up with a record of -9 yet won that game 1-0, while against Crystal Palace they landed up -7 yet won 2-0.

Where Arsenal really lost the game against Stoke City came not via the battle in the air, or the physical challenges, but their woeful finishing.

This shooting accuracy table comparing percentages of Arsenal's attempts landing on target this season, places the encounter at the Britannia joint bottom of the list - just a week after the game against Sunderland which was their best of the season.

TeamMatchMatchdayShot Attempts On Target %
Arsenal Arsenal vs Sunderland 27 75.00
Arsenal Arsenal vs Liverpool 10 58.33
Arsenal Southampton vs Arsenal 23 57.14
Arsenal Arsenal vs Norwich 08 55.00
Arsenal Liverpool vs Arsenal 25 54.55
Arsenal Arsenal vs Crystal Palace 24 54.55
Arsenal Arsenal vs Stoke 05 52.94
Arsenal Aston Villa vs Arsenal 21 50.00
Arsenal Man City vs Arsenal 16 50.00
Arsenal Fulham vs Arsenal 02 47.37
Arsenal Newcastle vs Arsenal 19 45.45
Arsenal Arsenal vs Everton 15 45.45
Arsenal Arsenal vs Southampton 12 44.44
Arsenal Sunderland vs Arsenal 04 42.86
Arsenal Arsenal vs Spurs 03 41.67
Arsenal Swansea vs Arsenal 06 40.00
Arsenal Cardiff vs Arsenal 13 40.00
Arsenal Crystal Palace vs Arsenal 09 40.00
Arsenal Arsenal vs Fulham 22 36.36
Arsenal West Brom vs Arsenal 07 35.71
Arsenal Arsenal vs Hull 14 35.00
Arsenal Arsenal vs Man Utd 26 29.41
Arsenal Arsenal vs Chelsea 17 28.57
Arsenal West Ham vs Arsenal 18 27.59
Arsenal Arsenal vs Aston Villa 01 26.67
Arsenal Arsenal vs Cardiff 20 21.43
Arsenal Stoke vs Arsenal 28 20.00
Arsenal Man Utd vs Arsenal 11 20.00

Just like the 1-0 loss to Manchester United earlier in the season, Arsenal did not give themselves a chance, by firing 80 per cent of their shots off target - highlighted by Yaya Sanogo blazing a late opportunity over the bar from inside the penalty area. 

While it was the poor finishing which undid the Gunners, intriguingly the match against United also saw them lose 25+ aerial duels. If teams feel that by being strong in the air they have a chance of throwing Arsenal off their game, there's a good chance Arsene Wenger's men will have to cope with more of it, and need to learn to sharpen up in such circumstances.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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