Manchester United drew 1-1 against Chelsea on Sunday and that match thought us several new things. The most important one is that the Devils are getting further and further from the Champions League qualification, but here are some other lessons we could be taking from this match.
Game Of Equals Until The Last Kick Of The Game
When we take a look at the expected goals model, we see that Chelsea were slightly better. Their xG of 1.63 is higher than Man United’s 1.12, but with one caveat – all the difference in those numbers came in the 97th minute of the match. Gonzalo Higuaín was presented with a huge chance (0.53 xG, to be precise), but the shot was saved following a lovely assist from Pedro. And when you think about it, with that chance scrapped, the two teams really were equal.
Man United had one really good chance and they scored from it, Marcos Alonso on the other side got a present from David De Gea and he took it. And that was about it if we talk about the best chances in the match.
Eric Bailly truly has no luck. The Ivorian centre-back was having a really good game before he got injured once again. Bailly is having a lot of problems with injuries and the latest one means not only that he will miss the remainder of the season – two Premier League matches – but also that he will not be able to play for Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations that is set to be played this summer. During his 70 minutes on the pitch, Bailly was having one of his best performances of the season.
He made three tackles – all of the successful – and he added an interception and three clearances. He did not make a single foul nor did he lose possession at any point in the match. He was basically faultless in his display, but the injury is what will be on his mind now. A real pity.
Wasteful Pogba, Calmer Matic
Paul Pogba was not all that bad in this match as many pointed out after the Everton loss, but he was wasteful in possession yet again. That is one of his biggest problems on the pitch and this time he lost possession on staggering eight occasions, doubling the next ‘best’ players in this category – Rashford and Higuaín both with four.
On the other hand, Nemanja Matic was a lot more composed and better in possession than against Everton. In that match he made a big mistake and even criticized himself post-match, but this time he was more focused and even looked sharper and quicker.
What Is With Willian?
Manchester United were heavily rumoured last summer about the possibility of signing Willian from Chelsea, as Jose Mourinho wanted him to play on the right wing. And it was a blessing in disguise when the Devils did not sign him, because yet again this season he showed just how useless he can be in the big games. Nothing good came of his performance – he did not attempt a single dribble, did not make a single tackle or interception and he created two chances, but they both came from taking corner kicks.