Stat proves Spurs know how best to inhibit Arsenal… but lose anyway

WH Lane

Tottenham Hotspur minimise Arsenal's passing flow, more than any other team in the Premier League this season.

Arsenal have done the double over their hated North London neighbours Tottenham Hotspur in Premier League competition this season, with both victories by way of a 1-0 win yet containing an a contrasting Gunners performance.

On the third matchweek of the current campaign, Arsene Wenger's side defeated Spurs at the Emirates Stadium with Olivier Giroud's 23rd minute strike the sole contribution, however, Arsenal could have added more had it not been for Hugo Lloris denying Theo Walcott (thrice), Giroud and Nacho Monreal.

Arsenal hit the target with 41% of their shots on goal, a similar ratio to their 42% success rate on Sunday at White Hart Lane during the reverse fixture, however, this time around, it was the Lilywhites who had the better chances yet continually squandered opportunities to restore scoreline parity.

Indeed, when looking at the statistical evidence from both matches, it appears that, out of all Premier League participants, it is Arsenal's most bitterest of opponents who are able to outperform them in a variety of areas - possession (Arsenal reduced to 43% in September and 41% yesterday) and shots (Tottenham attempted two more seven months ago compared to ten more at the weekend).

However, what is most impressive is their ability to minimise Arsenal's effectiveness in what is arguably their greatest team asset - the pass.

NameMatchMatchdayTotal Pass
Arsenal Arsenal vs Hull 14 803
Arsenal Arsenal vs Crystal Palace 24 785
Arsenal Arsenal vs Sunderland 27 691

As demonstrated in the data table above, Arsenal have tallied a number of impressive total pass hauls this campaign, with a Premier League season high recorded against Hull City on matchday 14, when they attempted 803 in a game they won 2-0.

In contrast to this, the Gunners have struggled both times they competed against Tottenham, with their home game in September seeing the lowest amount of team passes made - a record only broken on Sunday, when Tottenham reduced Arsenal to a mere 330.

NameMatchMatchdayTotal Pass
Arsenal Arsenal vs Everton 15 403
Arsenal Arsenal vs Spurs 03 394
Arsenal Spurs vs Arsenal 30 330

Also, according to the official website of the Premier League: "Arsenal's total of 248 successful passes is the fewest they have managed in [a league] game since 232 versus Spurs in February 2009."

Of course, there is only really one statistic that matters at the end of the match - the score - and with Arsenal registering a brace of 1-0 victories, they gain a six point advantage of those from up the Seven Sisters Road.

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