Talking Numbers: What We Learned From Manchester United’s 6-2 Victory

What an incredible match we have witnessed last night. It was a long time ago that we could say Manchester United were storming at Old Trafford the way they did against Leeds United. It was a 6-2 win which could have ended with a goal or two more in the visitors’ net, that was the way Ole Gunnar Solskajer’s side played. This team was in bad need of a win at Old Trafford and that win came in some fashion. When was the last time United held a 4-0 lead at home after 37 minutes of play? When was the last time a 2-0 lead came so early on in the match – against Leeds that was three minutes into the match – that the fans could have just relaxed and watched a great game of football with their team winning easily?

That was all amazing and it made our job of looking at numbers and metrics all the more easier. Here is what we learned from all of that.

Expected Goals

Whenever a team scores six goals in 90 minutes of football, you must expect that they have overachieved their expected goals numbers. And that is fine. Matches like that come around. But considering Manchester United had achieved 3.8 in expected goals, that is still really high and shows just how many good opportunities the Devils had against Leeds. It also serves to see that United were in absolute control, with Leeds United accumulating 1.9 in xG. That is also good and therefore those two goals Man United conceded were probably fair. But the finishing of our players was impeccable, taking their chances and that is something that will make Solskjaer truly satisfied.

Man United Make Use Of Their Pressing

Whenever you play against a Marcelo Bielsa side you can expect that team to want the most of the ball possession and that it will also pressure you intensely when they lose it. That is what pretty much happened – Leeds had 58 per cent of the ball to United’s 42 and they also made twice as many pressures in the match. But United made the most out of both of their possession and pressing. The Devils are fine with not having that much of the ball as they can use the speed and free space to hurt teams, which they successfully did, but they also pressed intelligently. They made just 72 pressures compared to 147 of Leeds, but United made 33 per cent of their pressures successful, compared to just 19 per cent from Leeds.

Martial And Rashford Do It All

Maybe they did not score, but they were brilliant as well. Anthony Martial made three key passes in this match, two of which turned out to be assists, whilst also making four passes into the penalty area. He made three successful dribbles from four attempts and Marcus Rashford was lively as well. Rashford made it six out of six with his dribbles, he made one key pass in the final third and also made 39 progressive carries, the most of all Manchester United players.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.