Manchester United are alone at the top of the table. The Red Devils have gone to Burnley and have done exactly what they needed – a simple win without too much drama. It was not, though, all that easy, with just a 1-0 win secured through second-half Paul Pogba goal, but nevertheless, it was still very important to get there without having to chase a result after conceding first.
United’s away form is still impeccable, with eight matches played, the Devils have gone and won seven, getting just one draw. Now, they will have to keep that record against Liverpool on Sunday if they want to stay at the top of the table and it will be interesting to see how the game unfolds. Until then, let’s still focus on the game against Burnley and see how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side fared in some of the more underlying numbers and stats.
Here is what we learned.
Pogba Plays As Ultimate Box To Box Midfielder
Paul Pogba’s performance against Burnley was one of those that drive Man United forward, it was everything the fans like to see from the Frenchman. Pogba was strong in possession, his decisions with the ball was clever and incisive, while he also had his physical strength to brush off players. The result? Not only the goal he scored and the two chances he created, but also a true box to box midfielder type of performance. Pogba made 106 touches of the ball, by far the most of all players in this match (Wan-Bissaka second with 82) and they were spread out across the entire pitch. Left, right, at the back, forward, Pogba was everywhere and hopefully he will be able to replicate these type of performances more often.
Cavani Links Well With Others
Something similar could be said of Edinson Cavani. The Uruguayan did his job the way he knows – he was linking up with those players behind him and he did not feel enstranged to the work necessary to do of the ball. His touch map shows he was moving back both left and right to help out and progress the ball and he also linked well with others when he created to chances from deep central areas. That trait is very useful in a centre-forward, to be able to do other things apart from being a threat in the box. And despite all of that, Cavani still managed to actually be a threat in the box, with three shots he made, all of them coming from the central positions of the Burnley’s box.
Bruno The Only Presser
Manchester United did not need to press against Burnley all that much. They were the team that was controlling the possession and whenever they lost the ball, it was not a big issue, as they were usually to get it back quickly enough. Despite all of that, it was interesting to see that Bruno Fernandes was basically the only player from Man United which actually pressed heavily, with the Portuguese making 20 pressures from United’s total of 84. That was almost a quarter of the entire team. It is not a surprise then that those 20 pressures yielded just four successful actions, since Bruno was often isolated in his press.