Arsenal are the most lethal team in the Premier League when it comes to the number of goals scored after the 75th minute of a match. The Gunners lead the league with 12 goals in the final 15 minutes but that statistic isn’t a fair reflection of their current position in the table, which sees them nine points adrift off table toppers Chelsea in fourth place.
They have taken the lead in 13 matches (3 losses), gone a goal down in three matches (2 wins, 1 draw) and had just two scoreless draws in 18 league games so far this season, displaying the steely side to their game that is usually associated with a title challenging side.
Goals scored by Arsenal in the last 15 minutes
14 August: Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool (Calum Chambers 75′)
10 September: Arsenal 2-1 Southampton (Santi Cazorla 90+4′ penalty)
17 September: Hull City 1-4 Arsenal (Granit Xhaka 90+2′)
2 October: Burnley 0-1 Arsenal(Laurent Koscielny 90+3′)
29 October: Giroud 76 minutes vs Sunderland 1-4 Arsenal (Olivier Giroud 76′)
19 November: Manchester United 1-1 Arsenal (Olivier Giroud 89′)
27 November: Arsenal 3-1 Bournemouth (Alexis Sanchez 90+1′)
3 December: West Ham 1-5 Arsenal (Alexis Sanchez 80′ 86′, Oxlade Chamberlain 84′)
10 December: Arsenal 3-1 Stoke City (Alex Iwobi 75′)
26 December: Arsenal 1-0 West Brom (Olivier Giroud 86′)
Behind the numbers
There are some interesting numbers popping up the in-depth stats.
Alexis Sanchez has scored 5 of the 12 goals for Arsene Wenger’s side, leading the league in this department ahead of Benteke, Costa and Llorente who have four goals each. Considering he has taken 10 shots in the final 15 minutes this season, Alexis has a conversion rate of 50%, which is quite prolific.
Olivier Giroud, on the other hand, has three goals of his own. He is in third place for most number of goals scored in the final 15.
Mesut Ozil has also had an influence in the last minute scoring, picking up three assists for his efforts (tied with Kevin DeBruyne for most assists in the final 15) and managing 11 key passes in the final 15 (leads the league).
Four of the last minute goals have come inside the six yard box this season, out of only six attempted shots.
Defensive statistics are impressive as well
In a move to manage the game without tiring out the players too quickly, Arsene Wenger gets his team to either kill off games early on or navigate it and turn up the pressure in the final 15 minutes.
The club leads the league in interceptions after 75 minutes with 68, which is more than Tottenham (30, last for interceptions) and Liverpool (35, second last for interceptions).
They have also attempted the fourth highest number of tackles (106) and have the second most number of successful tackles in the final 15 with 73. In contrast, Manchester United are the team with the most cards (19) and fouls (63).
Only three goals have been conceded in the last 15 minutes, although one of them was an 86th minute Ashley Williams winner that cost Arsenal three points at the Goodison Park.
Will Arsenal still be in the mix in May?
Arsenal have conceded the lead to the opponent on just three occasions in the 2016-17 season and managed to come back from each one of them (2 wins, 1 draw). The most important comeback has to be the one at Old Trafford, where Giroud’s 89th minute header made sure that the Gunners went home with a priceless point.
Their three losses all came about after going a goal up against their opponents (Liverpool, Everton, Manchester City), so that is something Arsene Wenger and his squad will have to work on to ensure they are still competing for the title come May.
Things look promising, and with the return of Danny Welbeck to the fold, Arsenal could embark on yet another winning run soon. But whether Chelsea will let up is another question, so one can only wait and watch as the drama unfolds over the next few months.