Manchester United have failed in their quest of winning four consecutive matches away from home. Just the fact that it was on the cards shows that the Devils have started performing better and getting better results, but the important fact here is that during those matches there was only one win in the league. Now the second one did not come.
Bournemouth won 1-0 at Dean Court on Saturday and the main takeaway from that matches is that Eddie Howe’s side actually deserved to get all three points.
That is what the expected goals model is showing us as well. According to Understat, Man United’s expected goals against Bournemouth amounted to 0.64, while the Cherries stood at 1,87. That is a clear enough evidence that Bournemouth created better chances and in the end deserved the three points. But the fact that United were taking a lot of low quality shots from long distances highlights that the problems of creativity and systemic way of playing is still there.
Another important statistic that shows just how little chances United had is Understat’s predictor of how realistic it was for each team to win or to get a draw based on the shots the teams were making. Bournemouth were so much better, that they would be expected to win the match 87 per cent of times, with United having just eight per cent of chances.
This Is When Andreas Pereira Should Shine
This was once again a match that highlighted United’s virtues and flaws. Against another deep-sitting opposition not having a problem to do so in front of their fans, Man United struggled. It was the same as against West Ham and Newcastle, with the Devils conceding four times and scoring none in these three games.
But this was exactly the match where a player like Andreas Pereira should show the qualities everyone is expecting from their number 10. He was the one supposed to try and break the defensive setup of Howe’s team, with risky passes that would try and make things happen. But it is apparent these days that Pereira is not that player, especially not for Man United.
Harry Wilson Shows Arrogance
This was not a perfect Harry Wilson performance, but his display against Man United showed what he is all about – shooting. The Welshman who is Liverpool’s player on loan at Bournemouth did not prove to be a player that is simply going to keep the ball in possession for his team. Quite on the contrary. Wilson was shooting whenever he could, five times to be precise.
This is not to say that Man United actually need a player of his style per se, but rather that they need a player that is going to show the arrogance, to try whenever he can to make things happen. In this team, who is exactly that kind of player?
Man United completed just four passes around that 20 yards of Bournemouth’s goal – or made four deep completions, to be precise.
That shows enough just how much United were unable to get anywhere near the goal, always looking to pass around the box rather than make risks that could split opposition’s defence.