Talking Numbers: A Deeper Look Into Man United’s Goodison Park Victory

Manchester United went to Liverpool and they returned with a win. After losses to Arsenal in the league and Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side did exactly what they needed the most – they got a good win that will bring more peace ahead of the international break. There will be no matches in the next two weeks for the Red Devils and the side will get its’ time to reflect on the past month and see what they can improve.

But what they did improve already in the match against Everton was their defence, but more obviously, it was also their attack which managed to score three goals in the process. Here are the things we realised after taking a closer look at the underlying numbers.

Good Chance Creation

In fact, it was not an ideal chance creation per se, but considering several factors, we could actually say it was. Firstly, it was the fact Man United played at Goodison Park, away from home, which made their position tougher, but also the fact that they did not allow Everton many opportunities throughout the match which made their chances stand out more. Man United ended up with 1.6 expected goals according to Understat. Considering we scored three goals, that meant the Devils outperformed their numbers

But the fact Everton ended the match with just 0.36 xG means Solskjaer’s side was anyway the better team who should have won. It just turned we won with a slightly higher margin, which could be said was actually that late Edinson Cavani goal anyway.

Fernandes Plays His High Risk – High Reward Game

It is how Bruno Fernandes usually plays – taking plenty of risks during the game, especially in possession, everything revolving around him. When it works, then Man United do as well as they did against Everton. When he is stopped, the Devils have many more issues. This time it worked. Fernandes made six shots in this game, scoring two goals, he created one goal and he also lost possession seven times. He was attempting many risky things and it paid off. Man United only need to figure out what to do when Fernandes is not having the best day.

Everton Get Past Fred

Fred is one of the players Solskjaer has been putting a lot of faith in and it is showing. The Brazilian is doing better than he did last year and he is getting more and more different tasks. But Fred is also often getting lost in all of his energetic movements without the ball. It was similar again against Everton. While he did have some of his good moments, he was all too easily beaten by his opponents. Fred made six tackles, but only two of them successful, allowing opposition players to get the ball forwards and past him. He might not be the ideal solution for Man United and while he did improved in recent times, he is still not the player Man United hoped they would get when they signed him from Shakhtar.

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