Talking Numbers: A Deeper Look At Manchester United Brushing Burnley Aside

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Manchester won comfortably at Turf Moor this Sunday, as they get back to the winning path. The two consecutive losses to Brighton and Tottenham are now archived and the victory against Burnley brought plenty of positives. In this article, we will be making a deeper analysis from all the statistical and analytical tools to understand some things better.

Manchester United won the match 2-0 as Romelu Lukaku scored the brace. The expected goals for Man United in this match amounted to 2.88, which shows a slight underperformance – i.e. if United had scored their third goal, that would have still been thoroughly deserved. And guess what – United did have a penalty, so there you go.

Brighton, on the other hand, have stood at 1.06 expected goals and they actually were quite close to scoring at one point. It was Sam Vokes who missed a header from five yards out and, at 0.6 xG, that shot could have easily been a goal. But apart from that, Man United did things perfectly. In the first 75 minutes Burnley did not threat for a single second and their xG up to Vokes’ header was just 0.09. That is how United should play defensively – simply do not allow chances.

Man United made 21 shots in this match, which means their xG per shot was 0.14 which is a really good number. In the past two seasons, United have averaged their xG per shot at around 0.09 or 0.10, so this really was a match in which United created chances of better quality. Nine of those 21 shots were on target, a good 42.86 shooting percentage.

Romelu Lukaku – Not Your Average Man Of The Match

What a performance that was from the big Belgian. Romelu Lukaku scored a brace inside of the first half, won the three points for his team, but also did plenty of other things. He had five shots in total and only one of them was missing the target. He also created four chances for his team-mates. They maybe were not of the highest quality, but were chances nonetheless – three of those four shots came from inside of Burnley’s penalty area and all four were made for different teammates – Pogba, Shaw, Herrera and Lingard. Lukaku really likes everyone, doesn’t he?

His xG was 1.28, but what is even better is his xG per shot, which amounted to 0.26 per shot. Everything above 0.18 xG per shot is *really really* good and if he keeps making such high quality shots, he could be in for a *really really* good season!

Luke Shaw And Alexis Creating Chances

The left-back also had a really good game and he was doing his work on both ends of the pitch. Shaw made three shots in this match, two of them on target and also created another chance – though none of those shots were of really high xG quality. Nevertheless, he also added six clearances in front of his own goal and his heatmap suggests he almost played as a winger.

On the other hand, Sanchez created four chances which amounted to 1.01 xG. So, he was expected to have one assist to his name and he actually did, setting up a cross for Lukaku’s first goal. That was a much better performance from the Chilean and similar will be expected of him in the coming matches.

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