Manchester United’s win at Aston Villa was a truly historic one. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team became the first in the history of the Premier League, since its inception in 1992, which managed to win four consecutive matches by three goals or more. It was exactly a three-goal difference in each of those matches, including the latest 3-0 win at Villa Park.
Man United are now closer to Champions League qualification and there will be immense pressure on Leicester City to remain in top four. However, after last night’s talk of what we learned immediately after the match, this time we took a bit more time to look at some interesting stats.
Expected Goals Confirm Comfortable Victory
We always like to take a look at expected goals and see how they confirm or differ from what we have seen the night before and this time the story is as simple as it gets. Man United created enough quality chances to win comfortably, whilst the hosts did not do too much to bother the Devils defensively. In the end, United’s expected goals stood at really comfortable 2.87, whilst Aston Villa got to only 0.60 xG.
In fact, Man United did not convert two of their best in-play chances – Bruno Fernandes’ header off of a Luke Shaw cross at the end of first half and Marcus Rashford’s shot in the stoppage time. But that was okay, because United converted a penalty and two good strikes from outside of the box. That is how things even out in the end.
Pogba And Fernandes Keep On Doing Their Thing
Last week, after that 5-2 win against Bournemouth, we noted that it was really obvious Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes were creating chances quite often and they continued doing so last night. Both of them got to three key passes and some of them were really good chances, like that Rashford chance Pogba had set up.
Fernandes also made a decent opportunity for Martial at the stroke of hour, showing that his performances are still great week in, week out. The Portuguese midfielder also showed a lot of energy, making six tackles, although he might want to conserve some of that energy too, since he only made one of those tackles successful.
An Active Night For Martial
Anthony Martial did not score last night, but he had some night, too. The Frenchman was quite active throughout, assisting Mason Greenwood for his shot which led to goal and also hitting post on one occasion. He moved and roamed once again, attempted five dribbles across the pitch, chased down to make three interceptions in central areas of Villa’s half and made two successful tackles. It was good to see that from him.
Shaw And Wan-Bissaka Show Atacking Intent
A lot of times it was mentioned that Luke Shaw’s and Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s attacking qualities might not be at the highest levels or that they could not truly improve significantly in those areas. But both players showed good attacking intent last night, adding five crosses which came from either inside or very close to the inside of Villa’s penalty area.
Wan-Bissaka’s attacking performances this season have been rather good and hopefully he will continue to improve that side of his game in seasons to come.