Manchester United have gone to London this past weekend and have returned with all three points. The Red Devils have managed to defeat West Ham 2-1, thanks to the goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Jesse Lingard. David de Gea had his role as well, as he saved the penalty five minutes into the stoppage time. Mark Noble did not get to equalise and keep West Ham amongst the undefeated teams. Man United’s win got them to 13 points from the possible 15, keeping them right at the top of the standings, with Chelsea and Liverpool who do have better goal-differences.
But what did we learn from this match? We have already mentioned Cristiano’s ability to score even when he is quiet for a big part of the game, and we also wrote about Nemanja Matic’s and Jesse Lingard’s fine action for the second goal. But let’s now get a closer look into the underlying numbers.
Expected Numbers Show A Close Game
And if you have watched the game, then it is pretty clear why the expected goals are showing such numbers. Man United’s expected goals of 1.8 are pretty good away from home and is also more than they accumulated in their opening match of the season against Leeds, when they freakishly scored five times from the 1.5 xG. But this time they took just about the right amount of chances to make it enough for a win.
But West Ham’s expected goals were at 1.6 and that is mostly thanks to the penalty they had in the stoppage time. It usually amounts to 0.76 xG, since three out of four penalties are being scored across the globe. Apart from that, West Ham only had two other shots on target throughout the game, from their 11 attempts. Man United’s 10 shots on target from 17 paint a good picture of how this game looked.
Pogba Was In The Mood
Maybe Paul Pogba did not get to assist a goal this time, but that does not mean he did not have some fun. Man United star made two shots in this match, made two key passes and completed 35 of his 37 passes altogther. But what we did not expect to see was Pogba dribbling so much. The Frenchman attempted nine dribbles in the 72 minutes he was on the pitch – one every eight minutes – and he managed to complete whopping seven dribbles. However, his substitute Jesse Lingard was the one who scored the goal…
Luke Shaw Making Things Happen
It is easy to talk about Cristiano Ronaldo always scoring for Man United, or even about Jesse Lingard’s beautiful strike, but we also need to mention the game Luke Shaw had. The England international was brilliant as usual. He made one shot on target in this match, but that is not why we need to talk about him – Shaw was part of seven shot creating actions, five of which came after his key passes. He was constantly creating something from the left flank and his passes in the final third helped United against a low block West Ham decided to put in front of their goal.