Talking Numbers: A Closer Look At Man United’s 3-1 Loss To Liverpool

Liverpool beat Manchester United 3-1 on Sunday to go top of the league once again, as the Devils remain 19 points behind and 11 points off fourth. In a match where Liverpool heavily dominated and won the match comfortably, let’s have a look at some interesting statistics that could tell us more about the match.

Manchester United Created Nothing, Liverpool Deserved Luck

It is always interesting to have a look at expected goals. Basically, xG is not made for analysis on single matches, but it is a useful tool after you have watched the match, without watching it, the tool can be tricky. So, Liverpool’s xG of 2.61 shows their three goals are not a surprise, while Man United had the xG at 0.66.

What is important to note here is that Jesse Lingard’s goal was worth 0.53 xG – this means five remaining shots had a combined value of just 0.13 and also, it means Man United’s only real chance in the match came after Alisson’s terrible mistake. Other than that lucky goal, only Rashford had a shot on target early on, but that came from 30 yards out and it went straight to the keeper. That is appalling.

Liverpool, on the other hand, did score twice through Shaqiri’s deflected shots, but they deserved to score such goals. Their xG per shot was just 0.07, which shows they had a lot of low-quality shots, but they also had a great chance through Dejan Lovren’s poor shot. Maybe a 2-0 win would be more representative one, but it is a comfortable victory either way.

Interceptions And Clearances Paint A Good Picture

People who track statistics and make analysis always say that football should not be looked at just by mere numbers. And that is true, stats can often distort reality if not used properly. But sometimes it is just a perfect way to look at things. And looking at interceptions and clearances made in this match, it really shows you what kind of match this was.

Liverpool made four interceptions in the whole match and nine clearances, the former part being incredibly low for a team known for their high press. But they did not have to make so many interceptions, as they dominated the match and possession. Man United, contrastingly, had 21 interceptions and 41 clearances. They constantly had to run in order to get the ball and always had to hit it far from their own box.

Firmino And Lingard Work In Different Systems

Roberto Firmino and Jesse Lingard have some similar traits – their incredible movement and stamina, their constant eagerness to get something from it. They are not of the same quality, obviously, as Firmino is a better all-round player without doubt. However, it is interesting to see how Mourinho is incapable of getting the most out of Lingard’s qualities, the way Gareth Southgate has managed at international level.

This is not to say Lingard would be as good as Firmino, but you could definitely imagine him doing well in this Jurgen Klopp’s system if he was their player.

They played in similar positions on Sunday and it was obvious how much more in such a coherent system Firmino could do, both with and without the ball. Whenever Lingard wanted to spark something, he just could not do it on his own.

1 Comment on Talking Numbers: A Closer Look At Man United’s 3-1 Loss To Liverpool

  1. Yes some of it is true but Firmino is better than lingard, Mane is better than rashford, Salah is better than Lukaku, Fabinho is better than Herrera, Robertson is better than A Young, Van Dijk is better than Lindelof etc- only de Sea would actually get into Liverpools team and yet fans are screaming for Mourinho to get sacked- ludicrous and so funny that people does not see that you can’t even believe that a back four of Shaw, Smalling, Lindelof, Darmian would be anywhere near world class…. players are not good enough- has nothing to do with the gaffer…

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