This week our statistician takes a look at Arsenal's fantastic record at Villa Park.
Arsenal made it 15 consecutive league games without defeat at Villa Park with their 2-1 win on Monday, extending the Club's record unbeaten run at an away ground in Premier League matches.
The Gunners last tasted defeat away to Villa on December 13, 1998, and that was despite holding a 2-0 half-time lead that day, courtesy of a Dennis Bergkamp brace. Three Villa goals in the last half hour - from Julian Joachim and Dion Dublin (two) condemned the champions to defeat.
Since 1998, the Gunners have won eight and drawn seven away to Villa
That result proved to be a turning point - both short-term and long-term. Arsène Wenger's men then went on a 21-game unbeaten run, ended when Manchester United won the FA Cup semi-final replay in extra time, played at… Villa Park.
Long-term it triggered the current run Arsenal have enjoyed in league matches at the famous old stadium. Since that defeat in 1998, the Gunners have won eight and drawn seven away to Villa, scoring 22 goals in the process and conceding just 11.
It is the longest such run Arsenal have enjoyed in the Premier League era, and second only to Manchester United's 18-game sequence – also at Villa Park – for the league as a whole.
Longest unbeaten away runs in the Premier League
|Team||Opponent||Away run||Season of last game|
|Manchester Utd||Aston Villa||18*||2013/14|
|Manchester Utd||Tottenham Hotspur||13*||2013/14|
|Manchester Utd||West Ham Utd||11||2005/06|
* denotes ongoing run
Arsenal's recent record at Villa Park
|2004/05||3-1||Ljungberg, Henry, Cole|
|2010/11||4-2||Arshavin, Nasri, Chamakh, Wilshere|
|2011/12||2-1||Van Persie, Benayoun|
Statistically though, Villa Park is not Arsenal's favourite away ground in the Premier League. Looking purely at teams Arsenal have faced three times or more away from home, Arsenal have the best points-per-game average from the visits to Wolves and Reading.
The Gunners have 100 per cent records at Molineux and the Madejski Stadium, from four and three games respectively.
In fact the 1.77 points-per-game average from the 22 trips to Villa Park is enough to put it only 18th on the list of the most profitable places for Arsenal to visit in Premier League history.
The two goals Arsenal scored on Monday night, however, has taken Villa Park to the top of the chart for happy hunting grounds in terms of finding the net. Arsenal have scored 33 Premier League goals away to Villa, the same as at Goodison Park and two more than away to Man City.
In terms of goals per game, again Reading's Madejski Stadium leads the way for grounds visited at least three times, with an average of four goals per league visit (in addition to the seven scored in the Capital One Cup last season)
Arsenal's best away records in Premier League
|West Bromwich Albion||8||5||2||1||16||10||2.13|
|West Ham United||18||10||6||2||29||12||2.00|
PPG = Points Per Game
Arsenal's away goals in Premier League
|West Ham United||18||29||1.61|
|West Bromwich Albion||8||16||2.00|
Arsenal's overall unbeaten record for home and away fixtures against one team in the Premier League is not held against Aston Villa, but local rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
The Gunners remained unbeaten in league football against Spurs for 20 consecutive matches, between March 2000 and October 2009.
The record against Villa for home and away matches was 19, ended by a 2-0 defeat at the Emirates in 2008/09.
In fact Villa have a fine record away to Arsenal during the Emirates era, having won on three of their nine trips - only Chelsea have won more.
The overall Premier League record for dominance by one team over another is 28 matches, set by Chelsea over Tottenham until the 2005/06 season.
Longest unbeaten runs against one team
|Team||Opposition||Run||Season of last game|
|Manchester Utd||Aston Villa||27||2008/09|
|Manchester Utd||Tottenham Hotspur||22||2011/12|
* denotes ongoing run
There were 59 seconds between Jack Wilshere's and Olivier Giroud's goals at Villa Park on Monday night, making it the third fastest double strike on record in the Premier League.
Opta's records for exact goal times began in 2006/07, and since then there have been six instances of teams scoring twice within 65 seconds. The overall record belongs to Arsenal, who are the only side to appear on the list twice.
It [Wilshere and Giroud's goals] was the third fastest double strike on record in the Premier League
The fastest double on record was scored in the north London derby in 2009/2010 at Emirates Stadium. Robin van Persie scored on 41 minutes 53 seconds from Bacary Sagna's cross to break the deadlock, and then straight from the kick-off Cesc Fabregas pounced on a stray pass from Wilson Palacios, ran half the length of the pitch and slid home the second. There were 49 seconds between the goals and Arsenal went on to beat Tottenham 3-0.
West Brom's double came in a 5-5 draw with Manchester United on the last day of last season, but all the other rapid fire goals on the list helped that team to victory.
This is the second time that Villa have conceded twice in barely a minute. Two seasons ago they went 1-0 up through Stephen Warnock in the 61st minute, conceded an equaliser in the 62nd minute, then fell behind in the 63rd.
When Fulham scored twice in the space of 65 seconds in December 2011, Clint Dempsey and Bryan Ruiz assisted each other's goals. But Wilshere set a new record for shortest time between a goal and an assist by setting up Giroud's goal on Monday.
Fastest double strikes in Premier League history
Also on Monday, Per Mertesacker became the 206th Arsenal player in history to reach 100 appearances for the Club.
The German defender made his debut against Swansea City on September 10, 2011 at Emirates Stadium in the Premier League. The Gunners won 1-0 that day, one of 62 victories Per has managed in his century of appearances. There have been 19 draws and 19 defeats.
The breakdown of appearances is: Premier League 74, Champions League 19, FA Cup 5, League Cup 2. Mertesacker has played in all but six of Arsenal's last 59 Premier League games.
He is the third player this season to reach the landmark, following Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta, and it means there are now 15 players currently on the books with 100 or more Arsenal games to their name.
With thanks to Opta. All stats correct as at January 15, 2013
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