Talking Numbers: A Closer Look Into Man United’s Win Against Norwich

Manchester United have showed Norwich City once again that they are a much better side, as the Red Devils dispatched them 4-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon. The visitors have struggled yet again against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, with United scoring goals whenever they wanted and even missing some opportunities to make this a real hard beating.

Yesterday we mentioned the four things we learned from the match, but now we will also take a closer look into what the numbers are saying…

Expected Numbers Confirm What We Have Seen

This match resembled the first match between the two sides this season. Man United created a lot of chances and a lot of good chances, including a penalty. Last time out, that was two penalties, but still the point stands. Man United’s expected goals amounted to 3.13 and Norwich’s was 0.28 xG. That is clearly how we have seen the match. Man United were creating opportunities and also taking them, whilst the visitors simply did not deserve much more than this.

Only Mason Greenwood’s goal came from a tougher situation, but then on the other hand, Brandon Williams did not convert a really good opportunity minutes after Martial scored the third goal. It all evens out in the end.

Norwich Lacked Creativity

When we spoke about Norwich before the game, we mentioned two very simple things that were quite obvious – Norwich can do very well in attack and can play some nice attacking football, but they are also bad defensively and their underbelly is so soft and easy to go through. Whilst the second part of that was there for everyone to see, the part about attacking was not.

Norwich were very poor attacking wise, as they were limited to only making shots from poor positions from distance. Their team total in key passes was just four and all of those four resulted in harmless shots.

Pereira Continues Good Form

Andreas Pereira was often mentioned this season as someone who appeared to have no role and never really do much, but in recent weeks, he has been in really good form. He continued that against Norwich, as he succeeded in three out of his four dribble attempts. The Brazilian also made three key passes, with the one for Martial midway through the first half proving to be the best of the lot.

Hopefully, he will be able to show similar performances against better sides as well.

Fred’s Inefficient Energy

On the other hand, Fred was the other Brazilian in midfield and his performance offered the opportunity to see certain things not working. He is often mentioned in the context of a player who is trying really hard, especially without the ball. Fred is energetic and sometimes even tireless, but then again, that is not always a good thing.

Because against Norwich, at times he looked like trying to do to much. For example, he was dribbled past on six occasions, far too many times for a team like Norwich in a match dominated like this one.

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