Against Leicester City, Manchester United produced their worst passing matrix this season against Leicester City. There were no significant chains (16+) with the largest chain being built, as often happens, between defenders. Ashley Young was involved in four of the top five chains which highlights his on-ball influence. Likewise, His manner of play isĀ significantly different to to Luke Shaw. Young often plays passes to the forward (either Martial or Rashford) whilst building through his side midfield (LCM) and any attackers. On the other hand, Shaw tends to stick to the winger ahead of him (LW) as well as his side midfielder and side defender. It is important to know this as players’ playing-style influences team cohesion. For example, it is more conducive to have a winger who tucks in if the full back behind them is offensive minded (e.g. Salah and Alexander-Arnold).

In this graphic, it is quite obvious to see that United lacked the necessary width in order to break down the opposition. James had tucked in considerably due to a lack of service out wide as well as his constant switched with Rashford. Likewise, Pereira – an attacking midfield by trade – played more centrally, too.

The share of dominance in this game was as follows:

Manchester United’s Dominance (i.e. 55% or more):

  • xPTS (77%)
  • xGoals (70%)
  • xGoals per Chance (70%)
  • xGoals per Shot (68%)
  • Successful Carries (63%)

Leicester City’s Dominance (i.e. 55% or more):

  • Pressing (61%)
  • Possession (58%)

Out of 15 categories, Manchester United were dominant in five of them whilst Leicester City were dominant in two. The other eight categories were shared between the two clubs with percentages between 46-54% which is not significant enough to warrant a direct impact on the game itself.

 

In the middle of the pitch there were 41 total duels with Manchester United players only winning 11 of them (26.83%). This poor percentage merely highlights how Leicester’s press and overall command in midfield prevented United from any real play. Nevertheless, United enjoyed more success in the “business ends” of the pitch which ultimately led to the win.