Our biggest-ever victory over Arsenal owed much to our brilliant start, according to the numbers…
We had 21 attempts on Saturday, scoring from over half of the 11 which hit the target. We were clinical early on in the game, with our first four shots yielding three goals and the Eden Hazard effort which was handled and led to the penalty from which we went 3-0 up.
We shaded possession, having a 52.9% share of the ball, and though Arsenal did enjoy more territory (53.1%) they failed to make the most of it.
Our visitors did make more tackles, interceptions and blocks suggesting, as the scoreline reflected, that they were pressed onto the back foot for much of the contest.
Our fast start is reflected in the statistics. In the first 15 minutes we made almost twice as many ball recoveries as Arsenal, pointing to a high tempo, and we also attempted and completed more successful passes in the attacking third of the pitch when it was 11 against 11, as we did over the course of the 90 minutes.
The game’s top passer was Mikel Arteta. Of his 66 completed passes 63 were played short with over half passed either backwards or square. Over 90% were made in the middle or defensive third of the pitch.
The next five top passers were our back four and Nemanja Matic, able to keep possession comfortably and simultaneously tire Arsenal out as we pressed home our man advantage.
Matic had a fine game in midfield and was able to influence proceedings both defensively and offensively. He made more ball recoveries than anyone else and also completed the third-highest number of passes in the attacking third of the pitch of those wearing blue. His four created chances – including for our first and last goals – is a game-high figure, too. Fernando Torres is next with three.
We have scored first in our last six home matches against Arsenal, while we have won our last six home matches against top six teams.
Our 16 home games in the Premier League this season have yielded 14 wins and two draws, the best record in England’s top flight this season.
The margin of victory was our highest-ever against Arsenal and the highest of any game under Jose Mourinho.
Spurs and Arsenal have both travelled to Stamford Bridge this season having been in possession of the Premier League’s best away record, but have returned to north London with no goals and 10 conceded.
Samuel Eto’o, who has opened the scoring in our last three home games, has now scored in home games against Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham this season. All 11 of his goals have come at Stamford Bridge.