THE DATA DAY: MANCHESTER UNITED V CHELSEA
A tense afternoon in the north-west was decided by one Mata moment. It was an outcome the away side deserved, according to the important numbers…
We had 17 goal attempts to Man United's 10 on Sunday, with each side classed as having just two on target. Juan Mata's goal deflected in off Phil Jones, the United man's touch talking it onto the post and in.
Chelsea have now scored the opening goal in 23 of our 35 league matches this season. Nobody has done it more.
Mata's effort was one of four he attempted. None were filed as on target, but he will claim his 19th goal of the season. Only Robin van Persie had as many attempts.
The Blues edged possession with just over 51 per cent of the ball. Our 85 per cent success rate, and United's 84, show there was a slower tempo and lack of an edge to the game that both managers commented on afterwards.
We completed 350 of 414 passes, just edging United's 332 from 394. We did however complete 132 in the final third compared with their 78, showing a more patient build-up compared with their traditional counter-attacking play. The ball spent 57 per cent of its time in United's half.
Mata was also the game's top passer, completed 49 of 54, nine more than any other player, with Oscar and Frank Lampard in joint second. The top five were all Chelsea men, with United's best being Jonny Evans and then Nemanja Vidic and Phil Jones, all defensive players. Mata and Oscar exchanged 25 successful passes.
All of Mata's five wayward passes were in the final third. His other 29 in that area were on target. Anderson was United's most influential attacking player, completing 15 of 18 high up the pitch. The Brazilian also had three successful take-ons, two more than any other player.
Without Eden Hazard, we completed only one successful take-on in the United half (and three in our own).
United won 13 of 14 attempted tackles, Chelsea 10 of 16. The hosts were more under pressure, attempting 32 clearances (21 headed) compared with our 18 (eight). Aerial duels were split 12 each. Ryan Giggs won all his five tackles, more than any other player.
Manchester United had previously scored in 66 consecutive Barclays Premier League home games, a record dating back to 2009.