Talking Numbers: A Deeper Dive Into Man United’s Easy Win Over Sheffield United

Manchester United have done an important job on Wednesday afternoon, managing to get an easy win against Sheffield United in their first Premier League match at Old Trafford after three and a half months. That was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team’s fourth consecutive home win in all competitions where United managed to keep a clean sheet and this win was exactly like that – clean.

Anthony Martial scored a hat-trick to resolve the match 3-0. Yesterday, we were writing about four things we learned from that match, but this time we will do something similar, but only after looking at underlying numbers.

Man United Comfortable With Chance Creation

We said yesterday that this was a comfortable win and expected goals really say the same story. Man United create 2.84 xG, to Sheffield United’s 0.11 xG. That is a clear difference and the result was telling the same story. Man United created four really big opportunities in this match, three of which were Martial’s goal. There was also that Marcus Rashford’s shot inside the first quarter of hour, following Martial’s key pass.

This was the type of attacking display Man United should make when playing at home and it brought them result.

Rashford And Pogba Get Creative

Yesterday, we mentioned that Marcus Rashford still needs time get back firing, following a quiet match against Spurs. Last night, it was a similar case, with that mentioned shot failing to go on target. But in other perspectives, Rashford was really good. He created three chances throughout the match, two of which ended up as assists for Martial’s goals. He was not the only one who was in a creative mood, with Paul Pogba adding four key passes.

He created some decent opportunities to shoot for both Martial and Rashford, but for Mason Greenwood too. He is reportedly not even ready 100 per cent and it will be exciting to see the Frenchman when he gets completely in form.

Matic Controls Everything

Nemanja Matic was really good last night. His performance was truly important for such a good attacking display from the team. He offered control, making 99 passes throughout the match, dictating tempo and changing sides from deep, when necessary. Serbian midfielder looks miles better than when the season started and only Luke Shaw had more touches of the ball from all of the players that were on the pitch.

Matic completed two out of three attempted dribbles and was positioning himself so well he did not have to make a single tackle.

Sheffield Cannot Reach The Box

It was clear throughout the match that Chris Wilder’s side was unable to really threaten Man United. They did not get into good opportunities and they only made four shots during 90 minutes, all of them from tough positions and with a very low expected goals value. But it is no wonder that was the case when you know the fact that Sheffield United’s entire team managed to make only eight touches of the ball inside Man United’s penalty area. That is a telling stat.

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