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Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea, Premier League: Statistical Review and Analysis

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The numbers behind the game

Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Phil Noble - Pool/Getty Images

Overview

Chelsea took another step forward in a defensive sense, with a resolute display against a team that was purring after a famous win in Paris. While 14 shots were conceded, the average quality of these shots (0.05 xG/shot) reflects the low-percentage shots United were forced to take.

While the defensive display was encouraging, it was not spotless. One turnover around the 35th minute allowed Marcus Rashford to bypass Jorginho and Silva with ease, with Mendy pulling off a smart save. Some lax marking from Havertz in the second half gave Cavani the chance to score with his first touch from United. Besides these opportunities, United were reduced to taking shots from sub-optimal locations - although they did strike a couple of shots cleanly.

In possession, Chelsea started out well and were able to play out of United’s press with ease. Unlike the game against Sevilla, Chelsea got into the final third reasonably often (especially in the first 60 minutes) but could not find the spark to make the final pass. With so many new attackers, this was not a major surprise either.

Chelsea eventually dropped deeper and ceded the initiative for the final half an hour, which is when United had their best spell of sustained attacking. While it was encouraging to see the team stand up to the pressure and deal with it in a professional manner, Chelsea cannot afford to sit on this result and will need to improve rapidly while attacking.


Match statistics

Stats from fbref and understat.


Individual ratings

Frank Lampard

Prioritized defensive solidity over attacking fluidity for the second game in a row and will be happy with the quality of defending on show. He also loosened the brakes in an attacking sense and allowed the team to be a tad more aggressive in their passing, especially into the final third. The final pass will come in due time.

Many have been unhappy with the style of football played but this is the blueprint to beat United. With the likes of Rashford and Bruno Fernandes in the team, they are a team who can destroy opponents on the counter-attack with a few passes. The best way to beat them in a big game is to give them the ball and challenge them to break open the defence, something they are not great at. That is how Spurs scored their first two against United before Martial’s sending-off changed the dynamic.

RATING: 7


Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League - Old Trafford Photo by Phil Noble/PA Images via Getty Images

Édouard Mendy

Made 3 smart saves and most importantly, transmitted confidence to the defence by making them look easier than they were. While these were shots that one would expect most keepers to save, Chelsea fans will know better than most to not take saveable shots for granted.

One of his passes almost led to an own-goal and he will be keen to cut moments like those out. Ignoring that one instance, his distribution looked promising again. His flat passes up-field, in particular, has the potential to cause a lot of damage. From a cross collection perspective, he has been surprisingly passive so far in his Chelsea career.

RATING: 7.5


Reece James

Another very solid defensive showing to build on his recent form. Dealt with the speed of Daniel James expertly while also assisting Azpilicueta in dealing with the skill of Rashford. Made an exquisite cross in the second half which was somehow missed by both Havertz and Pulisic.

Stats of note
3 tackles won (5 attempted) - 1st among Chelsea players
21 pressures - 1st
2 successful dribbles (2 attempted) - Joint 1st
2 touches in the penalty box - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7


César Azpilicueta

Was crucial in preventing Rashford from getting into space often. While Rashford’s speed and quality meant it was inevitable he got into a few good positionss, Azpilicueta was pivotal in shutting down the danger whenever it happened.

Stats of note
4 passes into final third - 1st
13 loose-ball recoveries - Joint 1st
3 progressive passes - Joint 2nd
5 clearances - 2nd
1 blocked shot - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7


Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Thiago Silva

Proved his quality in a tricky game and was a cut above every defender on the pitch. His reading of the game, willingness to do the dirty work and communication were big reasons behind the clean sheet. Made a superb block off Cavani late in the second half.

Stats of note
6 clearances - 1st
2 shots blocked - 1st
2 interceptions - Joint 2nd
3 passes into the final third - Joint 2nd

RATING: 8


Kurt Zouma

Scuffed a clearance or two but was his usually solid self barring those other two moments. With Silva and Chilwell either side of him, his passing appears to be more confident too. Could have perhaps done better stepping into midfield with the ball considering the number of opportunities he was given to do so by United’s pressing scheme.

Stats of note
3 aerial duels won (4 attempted) - 1st
6 clearances - Joint 1st
3 passes into final third - Joint 2nd
2 interceptions - Joint 2nd
1 blocked shot - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7


Ben Chilwell

Had a fine outing once again, doing his best to create chances going forward while offering a layer of defensive security. His passing when under pressure is a particularly valuable trait along with his ability to move both in-field and outside with the ball.

Stats of note
3 shot-creating actions - 1st
2 key passes - 1st
11 progressive passes - 1st
2 successful dribbles (2 attempted) - Joint 1st
3 passes into final third - Joint 2nd
2 tackles won (3 attempted) - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7.5


Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Jorginho

Dealt effectively with United’s press and played within his limits to ensure he was not a defensive liability. His turnover led to a great chance for Rashford but ignoring that one instance, this was a better big game performance than many of his recent ones. Did not contribute much in terms of ball progression.

Stats of note
13 loose-ball recoveries - Joint 1st
2 tackles won (2 attempted) - Joint 2nd
16 pressures - Joint 3rd

RATING: 6.5


N’Golo Kanté

Was not sharp with the ball and could have done better on many instances, especially when passing. Was his usually robust self off the ball and did very well to block spaces in midfield.

Stats of note
3 interceptions - 1st
12 loose-ball recoveries - 2nd
20 pressures - 2nd

RATING: 6.5


Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Phil Noble - Pool/Getty Images

Kai Havertz

Never really got into the game and could not keep up with the intensity. While a part of this is down to fatigue, he should do better and try to impose himself on the game more. Looked to be playing within a shell for large parts of the game.

Stats of note
2 dribbles completed (3 attempted) - Joint 1st
3 progressive passes - Joint 2nd

RATING: 5.5


Christian Pulisic

Played with more personality than Havertz but was let down by his decision-making. His speed allowed him to get into some promising positions but slow (and in some cases, wrong) decisions on the ball stalled multiple attacks. He is not on the same wavelength as Chilwell just yet.

Stats of note
5 touches in the penalty box - 1s
3 shots - 1st

RATING: 5.5


Timo Werner

Was the most disappointing Chelsea player on the pitch, opting for the wrong choices when in promising positions. Was kept quiet by Maguire and Lindelof, two defenders he should have scorched past considering his speed, in one-on-one ground duels.

Stats of note
2 touches in the penalty box - Joint 2nd

RATING: 5


Note: Chelsea’s front three had poor individual and collective performances, thereby warranting the low ratings. However, this does not mean they are poor players or anything of that sort. One would expect their performances, and consequently ratings, to naturally improve as they gel with each other more.

Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Substitutes

Tammy Abraham (71st minute) - Did more to trouble United’s centre-backs than Werner in duels but did not get into dangerous positions like he usually does.

Mason Mount (72nd minute) - His intensity and energy briefly reinvigorated the Chelsea attack before United further ramped up the pressure. His ability to find spaces between the lines, turn quickly and spot vertical passes were very useful.

Stats of note
3 progressive passes - Joint 2nd
2 aerial duels won (3 attempted) - 2nd

Hakim Ziyech (81st minute) - Worked hard on the defensive end but still looks short of the fitness needed.