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If the first goal hadn’t broken down Brighton’s hopes, shortly came the second one from Bruno Fernandes. The move again started from flank, just the left one this time. Rashford played a clean through ball for Shaw, who made a cutback that was loosely cleared by Brighton defense unit only to find Pogba holding the ball again. From there on, Frenchman simply squared the ball for Portugese who made no mistake and slot it into the bottom right hand corner.
Analysing the first half, the few points that made a lot of difference –
- Pogba and Bruno passed the ball to each other more than other players on the pitch throughout the first half (Stat from Opta). Development of a dynamic duo?
- Territory matters more than possession (territory = ball control and creativity in attacking third) but United had both!
- Rashford might have looked stagnant to most viewers but advanced statistics show how he actually added the most value to Fernandes’ goal by playing that through ball to Luke Shaw.
- All the Aaron Wan Bissaka’s four assists came in last 13 games. With Bruno and Pogba running the engine, Wan-Bissaka’s offensive output has increased multi-folds. This indicates chemistry development and pattern play in the squad.
Analysis from Second half –
- Matic is a pivot to this Manchester United team. With him screening the defence, we had most clean sheets, most recoveries, highest progressions, and a great number of line breaking passes. He needs to start consistently as his involvement also allows Pogba and Bruno to unleash themselves more.
- Rashford and Shaw have drastically improved their off the ball movements in recent games. The boss himself was known for same, and the training is really yielding the results now.
- While Rashford has added more value through transitions, his on the ball game has gone down. A wake up call needed.
- Greenwood’s physicality and passing, two known weak factors in his game don’t look like a weakness anymore. He is evolving into the perfect winger United could ask for.
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