Nobody should have been shocked to see the Gunners go in with the score still 0-0 at half-time on Saturday.
The same happened both times we faced Swansea last season, but both games still saw goals in the second half. In fact, it’s a strong trend between the two sides.
19 of the past 20 goals between Arsenal and Swansea have come in the second half (sorry for updating and re-tweeting this stat twice a year)
— Michael Cox (@Zonal_Marking) October 31, 2015
And it continued in the second half of yet another season. Three Arsenal goals meant a comfortable win, as well as contributing further to the odd quirk. Latest update? 22 of the past 23 goals between Arsenal and Swansea have come in the second half.
That’s almost 96%, and it’s a bit weird. Is it a coincidence? A tired Swansea pressed less efficiently in the second half of Saturday’s game, allowing Mesut Özil to dictate the play and create more openings.
On the whole, there could have been goals in the first half but half chances weren’t taken. The most likely explanation seems to be that the first goal simply opens up the game between the sides, so matches start fairly cagey.
Arsenal and Swansea both like to keep the ball a bit and attack, so size each other up when they come face-to-face. When one scores, the other attacks more and there are more spaces at both ends.
On Saturday, after two disappointing results last season, Arsenal took advantage.