Talking Numbers: A Closer Look Into Man United’s Unexpected Draw Against Southampton

Manchester United did not manage to record their fifth Premier League win in a row, after conceding late in the 2-2 draw against Southampton. The situation is still good for the Devils, despite Chelsea beating Norwich on Tuesday night, they can still finish in top four and they will end up there if they win their remaining matches in the league.

But for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his team to not be haunted by these two points lost, there will need to be some improvements, at least in regards to this match. United have been really good since the restart of the campaign and this draw does not diminish that.

Expected Goals – Saints Take Their Chances, United Create Less

The look at expected goals is always intriguing after watching the game and this time it showed some really obvious things. Manchester United did not create much, did not shoot much either and the best chance they created, they did not score from. On the other hand, Saints took what was on their plate and scored twice.

In the end, it was 1.50 expected goals for Man United and 1.81 for Southampton, which was largely due to that great chance Obafemi scored from in the stoppage time. United let in three shots from the inside of their six-yard box, which is too much for a single game and Harry Maguire’s poor defending gave the chance to Obafemi to equalise.

Man United were not at their best attacking-wise, especially in the second half, when they failed to produce a single shot on target.

Martial’s Excellence Shows

Anthony Martial was excellent once again. We have seen that last night and we wrote about that last night. But after looking at numbers, it was easy to decide to write some more. The Frenchman managed to score and create a goal in the span of three minutes, but that was not all he did in this match.

Martial attempted six dribbles and completed five of them, almost all of them coming the final third, progressing the ball further forward. He even attempted three tackles and made four shots, showing how proactive he was trying to be. Also, his heatmap and touchmap also show he was eager to roam, especially to the left, which comes naturally to him.

Ball Control Drops Without Pogba

It was incredibly obvious how different United were on and off the ball whilst Paul Pogba was on the pitch and when he went off. The Frenchman played first 63 minutes of the match, during which United had a bit more of the ball, but nothing too drastic. Then, since he went off, Southampton made 200 passes in the remaining half hour, but Man United stood at mere 84. It was not surprising they lost control of the final score after they lost control of the match itself.

Greenwood Stays Shy During Frenzy

Mason Greenwood has had some remarkable performances in recent weeks, taking over Daniel James’ spot in the starting XI in the meantime and it was not a big surprise that this time he was a bit off. He is still a young player and these things are normal and to be expected. But it was also obvious how quiet he remained during those first 23 minutes, when we had seen three goals. Greenwood made just six touches with the ball in that period, being unable to show himself when things were most likely to be fruitful for a pacey winger.

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