Bags of pub ammo from the weekend's games, provided by the Stats Zone app from FourFourTwo and Opta...
Theo Walcott has frequently been accused of lacking end product, but that certainly wasn't the case as Arsenal thrashed Blackburn 7-1. Walcott became only the fourth player this season to grab a 'hat-trick' of assists in a single Premier League game.
It's only the second time Walcott has assisted more than one goal in a single league game. Intriguingly – or not, given the Dutchman's dominance at Arsenal – 10 of Walcott's last 11 Premier League assists have been scored by Robin van Persie.
It wasn't all about Walcott (or for that matter Van Persie). The England youngster didn't attempt a single dribble, unlike Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who attempted seven and completed five. Behind them, Mikel Arteta completed more final-third passes than any other player this weekend.
Arsenal were ruthless, their seven goals coming from just eight shots on target. Rovers were less so: although they only missed one shot, it was the only time they managed a shot in Arsenal’s area.
Also scarily efficient were Martin O'Neill's Sunderland. At Stoke they had just one shot on target and six overall; the hosts weren't much better, and the 'grand' total of 15 shots is the joint-lowest in the league this season, level with Sunderland's October win at Bolton.
Swansea also successfully smashed and grabbed, winning 2-1 at West Brom with their only two on-target shots out of 16 (compared to the home side's seven on target out of 21 attempts). They've now scored five goals from just six shots on target in their two games against the Baggies this season. And to prove they're not all tippy-tappy passing, mini-midfielder Joe Allen attempted more tackles (10) than any other player this weekend.
Somewhat less efficient were QPR, whose lopsided attacking against Wolves may have reflected their reduction to 10 men: 55.8% of their attacking play came down the right flank, compared to just 14.9% via the left. Not that it worked from either side: none of their 17 crosses, and only one of their seven corners, found its target.
Bolton may not have won at Norwich, but it wasn't for lack of taking the game to the hosts: 77% of their passes were made in the attacking half – a higher proportion than any other Premier League side on Saturday today. Pity they weren't so organised at the back: Wanderers completed only 71.7% of their passes in their own half, by far the league's lowest success rate this weekend.
Also popping it around with aplomb were Fulham, who had the highest passing accuracy in the PL this weekend (88.3%). Indeed, they made more passes in total than their hosts Manchester City… but still lost.
When your luck's in… the headlines after Newcastle-Aston Villa were all about the debut winner from Papiss Cisse, but the visitors were unlucky to be written out of the story. Villa had seven shots on target to Newcastle’s three and also completed more passes than their hosts.
Finally, to yesterday's 3-3 thriller between Chelsea and Manchester United. Despite each conceding three goals, both Petr Cech and David de Gea made six saves. None of De Gea's were from his compatriot Fernando Torres: Chelsea's £50m striker set up three shots (including Juan Mata's goal) but only tried two himself, both of which were off-target.
Perhaps the most telling statistic of the weekend is that Chelsea made only eight tackles. Manchester United made 29.
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