Next up in our mini-series analysing Arsenal's top four players of the season, our statistician examines Laurent Koscielny's 2012/13 stats.
Arguably Arsenal's two most important goals of the past 13 months were scored by Laurent Koscielny.
In May 2012 he grabbed the winning goal against West Bromwich Albion to secure a Champions League berth on the final day of the season. One year later he was at it again, acrobatically turning home the only goal of the game in the 55th minute against Newcastle, to seal another top-four place.
"Arsenal were unbeaten in the 15 league games in which Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker started in central defence"
Yet despite this crucial goal at St James - one of four Koscielny claimed during the season - it was mainly for his performances at the other end of the pitch that he was voted into second place in our Player of the Year poll.
In his third season at the Club, Koscielny played 34 games, including the last 11 of the campaign, during which time Arsenal remained unbeaten, and conceded just twice from open play.
He appeared in all four competitions (25 games in the league, five in the Champions League, three in the FA Cup and one in the League Cup).
His overall playing record was W21, D9, L4 for an impressive win rate of 61.8 per cent.
Arsenal conceded 39 goals from the 34 matches Koscielny played, however the Frenchman was only on the pitch while 33 of those goals were scored.
Laurent Koscielny 2012/13 appearances
Koscielny was on the pitch for a total of 2,513 minutes (just under 42 hours), and Arsenal conceded once every 76.2 minutes on average with him in the side.
He had three different central defensive partners throughout the campaign, the most common of whom was Per Mertesacker. That duo was deployed 21 times in the season, conceding an average of 0.9 goals per game, compared to the 1.29 goals per game conceded for the six games he played alongside Thomas Vermaelen.
Furthermore, Arsenal were unbeaten in the 15 league games in which Koscielny and Mertesacker started in central defence together - winning nine and drawing the other six.
In all competitions the record for that duo was P21, W12, D8, L1 - the solitary defeat coming at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Laurent Koscielny game by game, 2012/13
Koscielny's central defensive partners (starts only)
As per his previous two seasons, Laurent also contributed a number of important goals, taking his overall scoring tally to double figures, at a rate of one goal every 11.9 games.
"Each of his last five goals have come away from home"
As well as the winner against Newcastle last weekend, he scored a vital late equaliser at Manchester City back in September, an 89th-minute goal at Reading to make it 4-3 and continue the comeback from 4-0 down in the Capital One Cup, and then an 86th-minute header at Bayern Munich, which put the Gunners within one goal of the Champions League quarter-finals.
Incidentally, each of his last five goals have come away from home.
Koscielny contributed two assists as well, including one for fellow defender Mertesacker in the 1-0 win at Fulham in April.
Defensively Koscielny's stats were also impressive, particularly the number of clearances (122 during the Premier League season, more per minute than any other Arsenal player) and his duel success rate, which, at 68.8 per cent, was the highest in the squad.
He finished the season on 119 career appearances for the Gunners, bringing up the century on January 1 at Southampton. He is one of 203 players to reach 100 or more games for the Club.
Laurent Koscielny Arsenal career stats
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