Albion Analytics: Arsenal

Saturday's win set a new club record for Premier League away points.

By Liam Tharme • 11 April 2022

By James Boardman
Enock Mwepu celebrates his brilliant goal against Arsenal.

Brighton returned to winning ways by defeating Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates, ending a seven-game run without victory and providing Albion with their first ever April win as a Premier League side.

Brighton seem to have cemented themselves as Arsenal’s bogey team. Saturday was their fourth win in ten Premier League fixtures (W4, D3, L3) against Arsenal, and only against Newcastle (17) have they earned more Premier League points than versus the Gunners (15) – notably, all four wins have been 2-1. Only against Liverpool (26.7%) and Manchester United (27.1%) do Arsenal have a worse Premier League win rate than against the Albion (30%).

Three points at the Emirates took Brighton’s away tally to 22 this season, breaking the club Premier League record (21 – 2020/21 season) with four games to play. Wolves (26) are the only non ‘big-six’ club to better Brighton’s away points total this season, with the Seagulls (17 goals conceded) one of just six sides to have shipped fewer than 20 goals on their travels.

A season-best defensive display in terms of aerial duels and box defending helped to see out the win in the capital, and now means that only Manchester City (100%) hold a better rate of winning games when taking the lead. Brighton have led nine times in games this season, winning eight (88.8%). Having dropped just two points from winning positions is considerable evolvement for a side who let ten leads slip last campaign.

Brighton’s ability to defend in the midfield third (51% of Albion pressures occurred in this zone, over 10% above the season average) and prevent counterattacks was noticeable. Their 35% possession was the lowest the Seagulls have recorded in a game this season, though despite spending so much time out-of-possession, Brighton’s total pressures against Arsenal (142) was very close to the season average (147).

Wyscout data has it that 179 total possessions occurred in the game (for both teams), and Arsenal managed no counter-attack shots – across 2022, Brighton games were averaging over 200 possessions, which would allow opponents more opportunities to counter-attack.

Enock Mwepu stole the show by setting up the first and then scoring the second – SofaScore’s algorithm ranks the Zambian’s display against Arsenal as the best by any Albion player in a Premier League game this season (9.1/10).

Mwepu joins Alexis Mac Allister (against Everton at Goodison Park) as Brighton players to score and assist in the same game this season.

Albion’s No. 12 is currently averaging a direct goal involvement (goal/assist) once every 121 minutes and is level with the Argentine and fellow Emirates scorer Leandro Trossard for goals plus assists (6). Brighton are averaging 1.77 points per game when Mwepu features (worth 67 points over a full season) and have a net +5 goal difference with the Zambian on the pitch (13 scored, 8 conceded). Both those statistics are the best by any individual Albion player this season.

Moises Caicedo became the 16th under-23 Premier League debutant (aged under 24 on debut) under Graham Potter – he is the fifth youngest Brighton player to debut under Potter in the competition, aged 20 years, 5 months and 7 days. 

The Ecuadorian tied with Enock Mwepu for the most touches in the Arsenal box (3), and only Marc Cucurella could match Caicedo for ball recoveries (10).