Talking Numbers: A Closer Look Into United Loss In The Manchester Derby

Embed from Getty Images

Manchester United have lost the Saturday Manchester Derby against Manchester City 2-0 in a match showed a clear difference in class and quality between the two sides. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team tried to negate the visitors, but Pep Guardiola’s side had shown a much greater quality than the hosts, ultimately winning without any problems during the 90 minutes. Own goal from Eric Bailly started it all just seven minutes into the game, before Bernardo Silva scored in the final minutes of the first half. After that, City were not in need to hurry and they did their thing as they clinched an important win at Old Trafford.

Yesterday, we wrote about the four things we learned from this match right away, but now, we will take a look at some numbers and underlying metrics. Here is what they can show us.

The Expected Goals

Manchester United lost 2-0 and the expected goals are basically telling us that is exactly the result it was supposed to be, considering the chances both sides had. Man United ended up with mere 0.6 expected goals, while Man City’s xG totalled 2.0 precisely. This was the lowest expected goals total Man United have had this season since playing Young Boys, when they were horrible with just 0.5 xG. It was not much better attacking-wise this team, although against a much stronger team. United had a total of five shots, one of which went on target and it is no wonder Guardiola never really had to worry about the final score. City, on the other hand, had five shots on target from a total of 16, strolling towards the win, especially in the second half when they already had an easy two-goal lead.

United Allowed To Play Only In Certain Areas

When you look at Man City’s 10 outfield players and the way they passed the ball, you can see a very balanced picture among the players, all of them having a lot of time on the ball and circulating their possession around the pitch. But for Man United, that was a much bigger difference. They completed just 331 passses to Cities 763, with Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof totaling 100 of those 331 passes. City allowed the two centre-backs to have time on the ball, as well as Fred, who made 38 passes, but they ultimately knew these players were not able to progress the ball into dangerous areas and between the lines. It was instead painful to see just how little United played through the channels, comparing it to City’s dominance.

City Dominate The Final Third

How City dominated was clearly shown in their numbers, as well. The visitors are known for pushing teams back and circling around their penalty area. Against United, they managed to have three players – Rodri, Kevin de Bruyne and Joao Cancelo – complete a double-digit number of passes in the final third. While the entire United team completed 17 passes in their final third, at the other end, these three players alone completed 34 – double the United’s total. Guardiola will definitely be happy with this part, pegging United back and dominating the game throughout…

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.