Talking Numbers: A Closer Look Into Man United’s Burnley Win

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Manchester United have done last weekend what they were supposed to do. They defeated Burnley 3-1 at Old Trafford, continuing their run of wins and also getting the three points they were always expected to win. The Clarets have been a tough opposition in the past, especially in Manchester, but this time around, the Devils have found way to win and get themselves three steps closer to finishing in second place of the Premier League.

While everyone is still talking about European SuperLeague, let’s first continue looking at our performance against Burnley. There will be plenty of time to speak about the potentially new competition. Here is what we learned from our win against Burnley after consulting the underlying metrics.

Man United Create Much More

Not only have Man United deservedly won, but they were supposed to win in an easier fashion and secure the points earlier than they did. Looking at the scoreline, the result was 1-1 until 84th minute, before Mason Greenwood scored his second game of the day, and before Edinson Cavani added the third in stoppage time. But a simple look at expected goals shows that Man United have been doing things properly throughout the game.

Man United created 2.8 expected goals on the day, which is basically where they ended up with three goals scored. However, it is the other side of the story that is even more interesting – Burnley had had just 0.4 expected goals, but James Tarkowski’s header was enough to make this a tough affair for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team. In fact, that was one of only three shots on target Burnley have made, while United have made eight shots on target and 17 shots in total. They were creating more and better chances, while Burnley scored from our own defensive problem at set pieces. A deserved win, then.

Pogba Active On The Ball

Paul Pogba once again started on the left flank and he was very active on the ball throughout the game. The Frenchman completed 59 out of his 64 passes, but more importantly, it is what kind of passes he was making. He got himself one assist from one key pass he made, while also completing 10 passes in the final third. He made four successful dribbles from as many attempts and he made a total of 61 carries, 10 of which brought the ball closer to Burnley’s goal.

Rashford Does It All Despite The Need For Rest

Ahead of the game, there was a lot of talk about Marcus Rashford needing some rest, to completely get rid of any injury problems he has been carrying recently. But despite that, he played a vital role during the 83 he had spent on the pitch. Rashford did it all. He made four successful dribbles to bring the ball further towards Burnley’s goal, but more importantly, he made seven shot creating actions, from which two goals he assisted. He made 11 progressive carries and completed five passes inside Burnley’s box. Not bad for someone who could do with a rest, isn’t it?

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