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xGunners: A statistical look at Arsenal vs Atletico Madrid and PSG in the International Champions Cup

Some quick stats from the Arsenal vs Atletico Madrid and PSG matches.

Arsenal v Paris Saint Germain - International Champions Cup 2018 Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images for ICC

Arsenal took part in a pair of matches in Singapore in the International Champions Cup. They drew their match with Atletico Madrid (losing on penalties), and beat Paris Saint-Germain convincingly.

These matches don’t have the full stats of the regular season, but they do have some things that allow for me to at a minimum take a look at the shots that were taken and try to tease out some trends.

Arsenal vs Atletico Madrid

The first half of this match saw Arsenal play a very strong team with eight of the eleven players solid first team players with just new signing Matteo Guendouzi, Emile Smith-Rowe and Reiss Nelson as the youngsters.

The match played out like so many Arsenal matches in the past: Arsenal dominated, created the better of the chances, failed to finish any of them, and then conceded from a relatively poor chance against the run of play.

The positives from this are that Arsenal did create some good chances in this one; in the first half they created 1.2 xG with three shots in the danger zone, and six shots inside the box. Smith-Rowe looked very promising and finished an amazing goal from a shot outside the box.

I was also happy to see that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette seemed to be able to play well together (even if I hate seeing Aubameyang moved out to the wing) taking seven total shots in the 63 minutes that they played together.

Arsenal vs PSG

Arsenal ended up putting five past PSG, but this looks like Arsenal were a bit on the fortunate side with the finishing in this match. What they did do that helps explain the five goals is get their shots on target, overall they put 11 of 15 shots on frame and when that is considered in the SoT xG model it bumps the expected goals much closer to the five they scored (3.48 but doesn’t have any data on big chances which likely under counts the xG).

Like the match against Atletico, Arsenal impressed me with their ability to create a good volume of shots in dangerous areas in this match. Overall Arsenal created 10 shots from the danger zone on 15 shots overall, and if Arsenal are able to continue this into the season, with the quality of finishers on the roster Arsenal could score a lot of goals in the league. The big question, as always, is if they can stop their opponents from doing the same.