Premier Analysis: Goals aplenty but Chelsea and Man City look the strongest

How the action panned out, as seen by Editor Gary Parkinson and analysed using Stats Zone...

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Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham

They may wish to humiliate the neighbours in their own backyard with dazzling possession football, but Spurs weren't far from doing the next best thing – a smash-and-grab win. 
There were 16 minutes left when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain lashed an equaliser high into Hugo Lloris's goal, and the visitors had started to believe they might get their first three-point haul at Arsenal since 2010. Certainly the Gunners hadn't had the breaks, with knocks to midfielders Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere necessitating a few midfield reshuffles.  

The entertaining derby tempo was set by Mauricio Pochettino in the technical area, constantly hopping about exhorting his players to press Arsenal. By some measures, it didn't work – the home side rattled up 542 completed passes out of 615 as they enjoyed 69.8% possession - but in other respects it worked very well indeed. Not only did Tottenham thunder into 37 attempted tackles, but one of them helped set up the goal. 

Mathieu Flamini, brought on for the injured Arteta as a safe pair of hands, was hassled out of possession by Christian Erikson. Although falling, the diminutive Dane managed to feed Erik Lamela, whose ball through to Nacer Chadli was confidently finished. While Eriksen's diligence may typify Pochettino's insistence on workrate, the resurgence of Chadli and Lamela pay tribute to their new manager's increased effectiveness: the Belgian has now scored 4 in 5 league games after only bagging 1 in 24 last term, while the Argentinian – written off after providing just 1 league assist last season – has now created 3 in 6 games under his compatriot. 

Chadli fires Spurs in front...
Chadli fires Spurs in front...

But Arsenal bossed the creative statistics – 16 shots to 6, all of the top 10 passers, 176 completed attacking-third passes to Spurs' 199 completed across the entire pitch - and eventually got their reward through perhaps the least heralded of their attacking midfielders. While hipsters debate who to choose from Ozil, Wilshere, Cazorla, Sanchez and Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain quietly gets on with it whenever asked, and 17 minutes from the end he hammered home an equaliser. Tottenham can take heart from their performance, but they can't take three points from their main rivals.

...but Oxlade-Chamberlain levels
...but Oxlade-Chamberlain levels

Match facts

  • Belgian attacker Nacer Chadli has scored 4 goals in 5 Premier League appearances this season after bagging only 1 in 24 last season.
  • Erik Lamela has provided 3 assists in his 6 league games this season after managing just 1 in 9 last season.
  • All of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s 10 goals for the Gunners (in all competitions) have come on home soil.
  • Tottenham picked up 6 yellow cards against Arsenal, the highest number of single yellows for a team in a PL game this season.
  • The Gunners have scored in each of their last 11 Premier League games.
  • They have, however, managed just 1 clean sheet in their last 6.
  • Tottenham’s possession figure of 31.2% in this game was their second lowest possession percentage in a Premier League fixture since the start of the 2006/07 season (only against Manchester United in September 2012 did they have even less of the ball – 25.9%).
  • This is only the sixth time in Premier League that a team (in this case Arsenal) has started the season with 4 draws and 2 wins.
  • Tottenham have won just one of their last 22 Barclays Premier League games away at Arsenal.