Friday, July 19, 2024

Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal – By The Numbers



Old Trafford is always a challenge. Despite United’s recent heavy loss to Crystal Palace and their points total being 29 fewer than ours going into the fixture, with numerous injuries and Casemiro playing as a makeshift centre-back, this game was never going to be easy. What was absolutely necessary, however, was leaving Manchester with all three points.

1 – Win for Arsenal in our last 16 Premier League trips to Old Trafford (D5, L10)

Mikel Arteta named an unchanged side for a fourth game straight and they went ahead after an Onana long-ball was nodded down by Wilo Saliba towards Ben White, who clipped a pass into space down the right flank for Havertz. The German international was played onside by Casemiro and did well to find Trossard, who scored from close range (0.64 xG, 0.98 xGOT).

11 – Shots for Arsenal, significantly below our season average of 16.8, which ranks third in the Premier League.

This season, Manchester United have faced an average of around 17 shots per game. Prior to kickoff, only Sheffield United had conceded more (17.6).

8 – Games this season in which United have conceded fewer shots than the 11 André Onana faced against Arsenal yesterday.

14 – Goal involvements for Kai Havertz in his previous 13 league games (8 goals and 6 assists).

5 – Goals for Leandro Trossard in his last seven league games.


25 – Touches for Leandro Trossard (the fewest of any starter bar Højlund). The Belgian also won three duels, regained possession three times, won three tackles, made two interceptions, had two touches in the opposition box, created one chance, and took one shot that resulted in the winning goal.

19 – Touches for Kai Havertz in the middle third (36 overall). One fewer than Declan Rice, but four more than Martin Ødegaard. I didn’t think the long-ball game to him worked as well generally, partly because the gap from back to front was a bit too big. However, he caused United quite a few problems in between the lines, dropping deep with their centre-backs not willing to follow him, and ended the game with another crucial contribution.

7 – Assists for Kai Havertz. He has now provided as many Premier League assists in 36 games for Arsenal as he did in 91 matches for Chelsea. Three of them have come against Man City, Man Utd, and Tottenham.

95% – Passing accuracy for Gabriel Magalhaes out of a total of 58 passes (third overall), with three out of his four long attempts finding a teammate.

39 – Passes between Saliba and Gabriel (more than any other combination on the day). The Arsenal central defence recorded another clean sheet on the road, their 10th this season. The only campaign Arsenal have kept more clean sheets away from home in our history was George Graham’s title winners in 1990-91, when we managed 13 shutouts.


68 – Seconds David Raya was in possession of the ball. The Arsenal keeper received a booking late on for time wasting, but during those final stages, his composed demeanour, falling to the ground and gesturing for calm, helped us see the game out without any drama.


Most touches (99), most passes completed (76/84), most clearances (6), most tackles (4), 100% duels won (7/7), 100% aerial duels won (3/3) and he didn’t commit a foul or get dribbled past once.

Saliba won Man of the Match at Anfield, the Etihad, and can now add Old Trafford to the list. He maintained composure throughout and delivered another exceptional performance. His standout moment came when he won the ball from Garnacho late on, but he didn’t put a foot wrong all afternoon.

And so, we secure a league double over United for the first time since 2006-07 despite a sub-par performance. As a result, regardless of what happens between Tottenham and City on Tuesday night, the league title will at least, come down to the final day.

Achieving 27 wins in a league season is exceptional and should be celebrated, regardless of the outcome. ‘That’s not progress, it’s history,’ said Arteta and he’s right. In a world where Manchester City have normalised finishing the league with 90+ points, it’s easy to not fully appreciate what we’ve achieved. Should we finish on 89 points, only The Invincibles have registered more.


Follow me on Twitter @jonollington

SourcesOpta, fbref, @Orbinho twitter feed

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Funsho Patrick

Hard to view this season as a failure no matter the outcome…. Proud of Mikel and the boys …We couldn’t ask for more! 3rd youngest team in the League….Worthy CL quarter finalists….the trophies will come..

Spanish Gooner

It’s also important to show that last season was no fluke and put us in the “early Klopp Liverpool” category as a consistent threat vs the Mourinho at United, Rodgers at Liverpool, Pochettino at Spurs category of coming close one season then never challenging again. We nearly won the league last season, then went away and got better. Whether we’re defending our title or finally smashing through the petrol ceiling, I believe we’ll be better next year too.


Funny how low Man U have sunk that in a game at their stadium where we played badly, somehow they played even worse. 0.51 xG? 😅 In other news Villa got a point from Liverpool via two late goals despite Emi doing his best for his former club rather than his current one, and now they only need to draw at Palace on the final day to seal CL qualification regardless of what Tottenham do. And a meaningless game for Palace, who nonetheless have been in good form. So it means Sp*rs still have a chance, but a pretty measly… Read more »

A Different George

They’re at Sheffield United, so losing there after beating City would be even funnier than a Spur “legend” going to a team that always wins everything–and winning nothing.


I’m seeing more a draw vs. Sheffield, a loss there would almost be too sad to be funny.

Honestly with all of that said and all jokes aside I’d be absolutely delighted for them to qualify at this point if it means we win the league. As long as they’re always 2-3 places lower than us in the table I’m happy, I don’t need total humiliation, it’s almost less fun that way.


The Villa-Liverpool result was excellent for us. Liverpool almost managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory but hung on for the point. Now Spuds will be up for the City game big time. Forget about their fans: the players and the owners badly want CL football next season. Let’s be honest: City should win, but at least Ang’s boys will have to have a go. It would be absolutely, f**king hilarious if Spuds hand us our first title in 20 years by taking down Pep’s boys. We’d have to invent an entire album of songs to sing at… Read more »


We still have a job to do on the weekend, so this idea that Spurs could hand us the title by winning today is a little silly, and I daresay the narrative around the match has done everything to distract from their own job at hand. As for the game itself, I think the only thing that gives us hope at this point is an early, straight red card for Rodri, taking him out of this game and the next for City. Barring that, I don’t see City dropping anything other than complete devastation in the toilet bowl and again… Read more »

I miss santi cazorla

The good form started when nketiah became the 4th choice striker. We ought to sell him this summer. His lazy attitude in defending the corner from which Palinha scored (against 10 man fulham at Emirates) might end up deciding the title.

Forest gooner

He is Lazy. Even the guys like Nelson, Esr, Viera who don’t get much minutes, put in the hard work. Eddie on the other hand just jogs around the pitch.

Naked Cygan

With the injuries and poor form, 1-0 made Man Utd look good. I was actually not too happy after the final whistle. I wanted us to go and humiliate Man Utd even more but it never happened. I also don’t feel comfortable with Partey anymore. He holds the ball for too long and he just seems so clumsy. I think we should sell injury prone Partey and go for another top target.


Mind goes back to the Villa game. Trossard had a similar shot but it was too close to Martinez and he saved it. If he had produced a finish similar to OT one, I just feel we would have won that game maybe in a similar fashion to how we won it at OT.

Per's cojones

Declan leading both tackles and interceptions and in top 3 of key passes and progressive passes is truly impressive. Man has contributed to both halves of the pitch with 15 g/a being significantly higher than any of us was expecting!


Saliba the best central defender in the toughest league. But he’s still not good enough to play regularly for France.

Dr. Gooner

This is our story. Progression each year by such leaps and bounds that it only feels like failure because we reached for a target ahead of schedule. 2021/2022: Surprise top 4 contenders, don’t quite make it 2022/2023: easily qualify for CL. Surprise title contenders, don’t quite make it. 2023/2024: surprise best team in the country by any metric over the course of the season. Match City stride for stride until the last day. Don’t quite make it. 2024/2025: You can guess the script. We reload with an elite transitional threat and fix our buildup issues and become an even better… Read more »

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