The Gunners suffering a barrage: The most shots faced in Europe’s top five leagues

The Gunners suffering a barrage: The most shots faced in Europe’s top five leagues

Arsenal had a surprisingly good transfer window, with the Gunners reinforcing its already scary offensive line with Nicolas Pepe and Dani Ceballos. But the performances the backline and defensive midfield players are having are causing distress amongst the supporters of the London club. Seeing how some truly worrying stats came up after Arsenal's Premier League draw with Watford, after leading 2:0 at half time.

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang scored a brace, and with his second goal, he confirmed the danger Arsenal provides offensively. There were 20 passes in the build-up to it, which is the longest passing sequence leading to a goal in the 2019/2020 Premier League campaign so far.

But Arsenal's already suspect backline was further weakened with the departure of Laurant Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, and Stephen Lichtsteiner. The only newcomers were David Luiz and the currently injured Kieran Tierney. The defensive line is also missing Hector Bellerin due to an injury, and a youngster backup centre-back Konstantinos Mavropanos.

Although there are no excuses to what happened to Arsenal at Watford. The 31 shots faced against the Hornets is the most the Gunners have ever conceded in a Premier League match since 2003/2004 when the counting of shots by Opta started. This season, Unai Emery's side faced 96 shots already, which is more than any other side in the PL, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A, and La Liga! Out of 98 teams, Arsenal is the worst by this unavoidable metric.

And Arsenal did so against a club which had a change of managers mid-week, as it was Quique Sanchez Flores' first match since being reappointed as the Hornets' head coach. Arsenal had seven shots against Watford, but lower possession and pass accuracy percentages.

Watford scored its first goal following a colossal mistake by Sokratis, as the Hornets pressed the guests' backline with three players even as Bernd Leno was re-starting the play. The second goal was due to Sokratis' centre-back partner - David Luiz, who conceded a penalty yet again. Which is his second conceded penalty since arriving at the Emirates.

The 31 conceded shots don't go just on the backline's account, as the more defensive midfielders in the side, Guendouzi and Xhaka failed to provide support and the first line of defence.

Arsenal's full-backs assisted for both of Auba's goals. Sead Kolisinac for the first, Ainsley Maitland-Niles for the second. Yet, the defenders are failing to do what is their primary task and no team can rely on merely outscoring the competition and hoping for the best upfront. And particularly a hopeful top-four side.


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