Manchester United have won consecutive Premier League matches for the first time since the end of October and start of November and it is finally a good feeling at Old Trafford. The fans are finally watching a more interesting team on the pitch, one that tries more different things. It is still early days into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s post, but so far so good.
The Devils scored eight goals in the past two matches and although they did not have a clean-sheet, the wins were quite comfortable. So what was it against Huddersfield that was good or bad? On Wednesday we talked about things we learned, but now we will take a closer look into statistics.
Fred Still Far From Necessary Levels
The Brazilian arrived this summer as the most expensive signing and so far he was characterized as a poor piece of business. Man United have overspent on that transfer, that is obvious already, although it was interesting to find out Fred was in the starting lineup against Huddersfield. However, it did not bring anything more than that.
Fred was substituted after just 54 minutes on the pitch and only that piece of information would be enough for people to realise what kind of performance it was. It surely was not as appalling as some previous have been, but it was far from good. Fred was losing possession way too often, five times in those 54 minutes, three of those coming in Man United’s half. He also had much less of the ball, failing to imposing himself on the match and his defensive output was not that big.
All in all, Solskjaer was right to bring Ander Herrera on to replace him and right now, Fred will have to show much better performances if he expects to start matches in the future.
Slow Start But Without Consequences
Man United started this match slowly. It was slightly reminiscent of some matches under Jose Mourinho, where United simply could not create chances. They had just two shots in the first 25 minutes or so, before Nemanja Matic scored from close range. It was also that Huddersfield had a good chance in those opening minutes and it was not as far fetched as it now may seem for Man United to go a goal down.
Still, the previous match against Cardiff had a great start and that will be the model to look up to.
Inequalities Between The Flanks
It was once again obvious that Man United’s flanks are highly uneven. When it was Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia putting in largely different performances, it was a telling sign of the Ecuadorian not being as good as he was expected to be. This time it was Diogo Dalot who played as right-back.
Not that the Portuguese teenager was especially poor or anything like that, it was just obvious how much United could get from Shaw’s flank. He was more involved in the game with the ball at his feet and he also went much higher up the pitch. It helped that both Pogba and Matic often move from central areas towards left flank, but United should not become too reliant on just one flank. That could make them predictable.