We take a look at the statistics from Saturday’s defeat at Bramall Lane, which help show why we were second best…
Sheffield United started more dangerously and at the point of their second goal, after 33 minutes, they had had five attempts to our two.
From then until the final whistle we had 13 efforts to the hosts’ four, but just three of ours were on target in that time period.
All of Sheffield United’s nine attempts were from inside the box, with five of our 14 struck from outside it.
Two of the hosts’ efforts stemmed from fast breaks, and two from set-pieces.
Tammy Abraham registered a game-high five shots, with David McGoldrick scoring with two of his three efforts.
Our 76.3 per share of possession did not translate into many meaningful opportunities. Since 2003/04, when full possession data is available, this was the biggest margin of defeat for a team to hold as much as 76 per cent possession in a Premier League game.
We made 809 passes to the Blades’ 251, though it is worth noting 155 of their passes were played into the final third (62 per cent), compared to 240 of ours (30 per cent).
Cesar Azpilicueta spent the most time on the ball (11.8 per cent) and attempted the most passes (125).
Reece James recorded a game-high three key passes and three successful tackles.
Sheffield United made 37 clearances, of which their three centre-backs and two wing-backs were responsible for 26. John Egan’s nine clearances was almost twice as many as the next player.
Of the 63 aerial duels contested, the Blades won 56 per cent. No player was more successful in the air than McGoldrick, who won eight. Toni Rudiger and Oli McBurnie were next with five.