The Statistics That Shows Man United’s Upward Trajectory Despite Derby Defeat To City 

9 months ago
1 min read

Manchester United slumped to a devastating 0-3 defeat to city rivals Manchester City in the Premier League on ‘Super Sunday’ at Old Trafford and has put themselves in a difficult place trying to catch with regular title contenders.

United appeared second best to league champions City in every aspect of gameplay, claiming just 39% of ball possession against the well-oiled City machine.

Eric ten Hag’s team had a total of seven goal attempts which palled in comparison with the 21 by City.

This is United’s fifth defeat in their opening 10 league games.

It is the most number of losses at the start of a league campaign since 1986-87, which, famously heralded the exit of Ron Atkinson and the arrival of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Still, despite the team’s poor showing, one United star made some worthy contributions on the pitch.

From early on in the clash, the much-maligned Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana was forced into action in order to deny Phil Foden from scoring off a close-range header.

While the ball bounced back out to the feet of Erling Haaland, the shot-stopper denied City yet again, this time inches away from the goal line.

Although Haaland’s 26th-minute penalty found the back of the net, City were unable to get the better of Onana from open play throughout the opening 45 minutes.

Haaland doubled City’s lead within three minutes after the restart, however, United’s defenders’ inability to mark the Norwegian left Onana unable to stop his header.

Yet again, City’s third goal courtesy of Foden came as a result of poor marking and a lack of concentration amid a rapid counter-attack by the visitors.

With 53 touches, Onana who was also in inspired form in the Champions League midweek against Copenhagen saw a lot of the ball both as a shot-stopper and as a component of United’s build-up play.

His 29 completed passes out of 40 made for a 73% success rate, while he was successful in his only run-out of the game to deny Haaland from scoring.

While he only managed to complete eight out of 18 long balls, Onana nonetheless showed a desire to jumpstart the United attack at a time when his outfield teammates exhibited little pace and creativity up front.

Most importantly, the 27-year-old made an impressive seven saves, denying City from scoring even more in an already humiliating derby defeat.

Although Onana may not have delivered his best passing display, he has no doubt improved in the saving department, an area of concern since the Cameroonian arrived at Old Trafford in the summer.

The redeeming aspect of this game for the hosts would be Andre Onana’s saves.

Should his teammates be able to improve their outfield performances, Onana may indeed be the goalkeeper that United need to take them forward so long as he continues to strengthen his shot-stopping abilities.


Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.


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