Arsene Wenger is adamant that Manchester City aren’t unstoppable and is convinced that Arsenal’s 3-1 loss at the Etihad was a ‘tight game’ because of expected goals.
Speaking to BeIN Sports during the international break, Wenger claimed that City aren’t unstoppable this season despite Pep Guardiola’s side currently sitting at the top of the Premier League table, unbeaten and 12 (!) points ahead of the Gunners.
“They are a good side but they are not an unstoppable side,” Wenger told BeIN Sports.
“If you look at the expected goals, it was 0.7 for them and 0.6 for us, it was a very tight game.
“They created very little and very little shots on target, just one more than us.”
‘Expected goals’ or xG calculations use a method that involves allocating a value to goal scoring chances during a game depending on how difficult they are.
While these stats can be interesting and show how well the players are actually performing compared to how well they’re supposed to, they’re obviously not ACTUAL goals scored, which is why Wenger using this as an argument to seemingly defend the Gunners’ loss at the Etihad is a bit odd.
Running rings around the defence… Literally! #mancity pic.twitter.com/pBmausKFR7
— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 9, 2017
The match was tight in the second half and, if you weren’t watching, you could be forgiven for thinking it was a close game. Although City went 2-0 ahead in the first half, Arsenal came back by a goal in the second and could have drawn level if the home side’s offside goal wasn’t given.
However, the gulf between the quality of the teams was undeniable. Arsenal didn’t even play badly, they’re just nowhere near City’s level.
Pep’s side may not be unstoppable but Arsenal sure as hell ain’t going to be the ones to stop them.