Arsenal star Per Mertesacker identifies key area where they failed against Chelsea

Per Mertesacker

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker reflects on his side’s 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Sunday.

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has identified the main reason why they failed to get anything from their Premier League clash against Chelsea.

The Gunners suffered a 2-0 defeat to the Blues on Sunday, thanks to goals from Eden Hazard and Diego Costa.

Chelsea headed into the game as the favourites and did not seem to be given a stiff test by Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger’s side did not show the creativity or finesse that they exhibited against Galatasaray in the Champions League in midweek.

Following the match, Mertesacker told reporters when asked about which area Arsenal weren’t good enough against Chelsea: ‘In the final third’.

‘I think we defended quite well’, added the German centre-back. ‘There was always a cover and there was always protection in the final third. We had a couple of decent chances to get through but we failed with the last pass or the last touch’.

But do stats back Mertesacker’s argument?

  Chances createdTotal ShotsShots on TargetBig Chance MissedFinal Third EntriesPen Area EntriesSuccessful Final Third PassesAppearances
Arsenal 9 10 0 0 69 18 143 1
Chelsea 3 5 3 0 77 11 85 1

As shown above, Arsenal created thrice as many chances as Chelsea did and had twice as many shots, but none of their attempts was on target. The Gunners also had more penalty area entries and more successful final third passes.

However, it was Chelsea who scored the goals – and that’s the most important stat.

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