THE DATA DAY: CHELSEA V ARSENAL
The clichéd notion of this being a game of two halves is reflected by the figures. Fortunately our first-half dominance proved more fruitful than Arsenal's in the second.
Chelsea attempted nine of our 14 shots in the first period, Arsenal 10 of their 12 in the second. We tried 288 first-half passes, and 126 second.We made 10 attempted first-half clearances compared with 21 after the break.
The Blues just edged possession, by 0.4 per cent. Across the 90 minutes we completed six more passes than the Gunners (327) but at a lower success rate, 79 compared to 81 per cent.
We found lots of space in the first 45 minutes, completing 17 of 26 long passes, the majority going from the middle out wide. The perfect example came when Cesar Azpilicueta found Juan Mata for our first goal. After the restart, we only managed another seven of 21, with most of those coming from deep inside our own half.
Olivier Giroud has given Arsenal an attacking focal point, and they attempted 29 crosses in the game compared to our 18. Despite his presence, every one of their nine corners was met by a Chelsea defender. Arsenal did win 19 of 37 aerial duels, with not one taking place in their box, but Giroud just six of 17.
There were 61 attempted take-ons during this encounter. Nobody could complain of either side sitting back and parking the bus. The pacy Theo Walcott tried to beat his man eight times, but was successful just four. Eden Hazard managed it three from four tries, including in the first half where he brought a low save from Wojciech Szczesny.
Mata completed 43 passes, more than any other but with a relatively low figure and completion rate, with 18 going astray. His opposite number Santi Cazorla made 38/49 successful passes, but more from within his own half. Mata made four goalscoring opportunities for his side, including our penalty, Cazorla's only one being for Walcott's goal.