Carry Me Home
Timo Werner came to the Premier League off the back of a fantastic 2019/20 campaign at Red Bull Leipzig, where he scored 34 goals in 45 competitive games. The only player to score more goals than him for a Bundesliga club last season was Robert Lewandowski (55).
One area which Werner excels is his ability to run with the ball at his feet. Looking at the Opta metric of ‘ball carries’ (carrying the ball for 5+ metres), we can see that the 24-year-old is the best in Europe at making an impact following a carry of the ball.
NB: one assist came within his own half, so is not displayed in the graphic above.
He’s been involved in 17 goals following a ball carry within the top five European leagues since the start of last season (nine goals, eight assists) – two more than any other player, ahead of Kylian Mbappe on 15.
Chelsea’s second goal on Saturday against Newcastle was a perfect example of Werner’s ball carrying skill. He travelled 50.1 metres with the ball at his feet, before finding Tammy Abraham with a pass that eventually saw the English striker put Chelsea 2-0 ahead.
Leeds Rue Wasteful Finishing
Leeds United could not find a way through against Arsenal on Sunday afternoon – despite attempting 25 shots and hitting the woodwork on three separate occasions.
It was a case of deja-vu for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, as it was the second time in 2020 that they had been unable to beat a Gunners’ goalkeeper despite attempting a high number of shots.
In their FA Cup tie at the Emirates Stadium in January, United fired in 18 shots without scoring. This means that in 2020 alone, Leeds United have fired taken 43 shots without a single goal in their two matches against Arsenal.
Only against Luton Town (44 shots, 3 goals) and Stoke City (55 shots, 10 goals) have Leeds United attempted more shots since the start of last season overall than they have against Arsenal (43, 0 goals).
Left in the Cold
Arsenal are now just four minutes shy of going eight hours of Premier League football without an open play goal. This miserable statistic might be different if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was deployed as a traditional number nine.
In 2020/21, he’s averaged 3.3 touches in the opposition box per 90 on average, which isn’t dramatically down on last season’s 4.4 per 90. However, you can see from the graphic above that he’s been deployed deeper and wider on the left this season than he was last season, which means he’s not getting in the dangerous central areas as much as in 2019/20.
The Arsenal striker has scored just two goals in 807 Premier League minutes this season – – one of those was a penalty. Most alarmingly, he has only attempted 13 shots and has an xG total of just 1.46, which is reduced to 0.68 from 12 shots if you take away his one penalty attempt. To show how low that is, it is below Edinson Cavani’s open play xG tally of 0.70 & he’s played just 83 minutes of Premier League football.
After nine appearances in 2019/20, Aubameyang had scored seven goals from goalscoring chances more than six times better than he’s managed so far in 2020/21.
Pass & Move (It’s the Liverpool Groove)
Liverpool secured a club record 64th consecutive Premier League home game unbeaten with a brilliant 3-0 win against Leicester City on Sunday.
Their second goal was a perfect way to mark the occasion, with Diogo Jota becoming the first player in Liverpool history to score in each of their first four top-flight league appearances at home for the club.
The Portuguese forward’s goal put the finishing touches on a 30-pass move which involved all 10 of their outfield players, in the 41st minute.
This goal was the longest pass sequence leading to a Premier League goal scored by Liverpool since Opta have this data available from 2006/07.
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