Manchester United have started their Champions League campaign in a perfect fashion with two big wins against Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig, but then they went to Turkey and lost 2-1 against Istanbul Basaksehir. That loss was a clear reminder to the Red Devils that there is not a single club in the Champions League you can underestimate and it seems as if they took their lessons and made sure that the reverse fixture goes their way.
In the end, a 4-1 win against the champions of Turkey at Old Trafford was everything it should be for Man United against a side clearly weaker than them. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team showed that through the entire 90 minutes and now the Devils can keep planning for the two of the final matches – against PSG in Manchester and against Leipzig in Germany.
Here are some other things we noticed about this game after closely looking at numbers.
Manchester United Create In Abundance
We always like to take a look at the expected goals after a match finishes, to see whether this metric is showing what our eye test had shown. And this time again, it is completely spot on. Manchester United created so many good scoring opportunities that their xG amounted to an incredible tally of 3.8, showing that those four goals were completely on merit. Istanbul Basaksehir got to 1.0 xG and one goal they did score. Therefore, nothing more to be said here, if only Man United could get in so many good chances every game…
Bruno Keeps Doing It All
We are running out of words for Bruno Fernandes. The Portuguese star is really playing like a star and he has shown that once again. He scored two goals from two very different situations, as we mentioned last night in our post-match report. But that is not the only thing he did. He continued making risks and trying to always make something happen, therefore creating three chances for his teammates, losing the possession just once. That is some performance.
Telles Shows Qualities
Alex Telles is one of the players Man United signed at the end of the transfer window and former Porto left-back is showing slowly why he was brought from Portugal. He was really good on that flank, creating four chances, three of which came from set-pieces. The Brazilian was always looking for ways how to get the ball forward and his progressive passes traveled a total of 406 passes in attacking direction, towards Basaksehir’s goal. Only Harry Maguire had more.
Maguire’s Passing Catches Eye
And now we get to Maguire himself. That is exactly one of the reasons why we paid special attention to him. Man United’s centre-back had shown some really good passing range against Istanbul Basaksehir, making 17 successful long passes (out of 23) and completing seven passes into the final third. He was progressing the ball through the opposition’s lines, always creating good positions for Man United to keep getting forward. That was a really good performance in possession, although it is fair to say not many teams will allow Man United so much space.