The flow of this game was always likely to be heavily influenced by the outcome of the Man City game earlier in the afternoon and with City’s win meaning than Utd were 10 goals further back on goal difference, only a hammering would give City cause for concern.
It was arguably an ‘efficient’ performance by Man Utd but with little life to it. Their 28 attempts on goal was the second most any team has had against Swansea (Man City Away with 30 at the start of the season being the highest), but this certainly didn’t feel like the onslaught that took place at the Etihad.
|Shots by Half for both teams|
Swansea actually had more attempts on target in the second half than Man Utd, it’s difficult to say how much of the change was the introduction of Britton for Gower in the second half or just Man Utd being content with two without taking too many risks.
There were however numerous examples of Sigurdsson in particular having vast amounts of space in midfield and a Swansea goal could have made the last 20 minutes very interesting indeed.
Ashley Young was heavily involved in the game with the most touches (100) of any player and also made 23 of Utd’s 50 crosses which is the second most any opposition has made against Swansea this season (Villa Away with 51 being the highest, although the Villa example is a great one of quantity over quality).
Michel Vorm’s acrobatics have rightly made him one of the main contenders for Swansea’s player of the season but his distribution is also something that is worth applauding.
The chalkboards below comparing Vorm's passing away to both Man City and Man Utd are a bit of an unfair comparison in that in the first game of the season he had pretty much just turned up at the club.
Against City there were a number of passes shanked in to the crowd but against Utd at the weekend his distribution was superb, with one ball pinged in to the opposition’s half straight on to Danny Graham’s chest a particular example of his accuracy.
|Naturally not all long passes will be successful, but keeping long passes in play obviously increases your chances|
Next season it’s likely that teams will press the defence more, so his distribution out to the wings or up to the central striker will become even more important.
Related to this is Swansea’s relatively low success rate with Aerial challenges. Swansea win by far the lowest number of Aerial Duels per game (6 with the next lowest being Wigan on 8), this will be partly because we don’t stick it up to a big man 20 times a game (Stoke have highest Aerial Duels won per game with 15) but also due to when the ball does get pumped forward the outcome isn’t usually favourable.
|Most Aerial Duels took place in middle third so low % win not an issue around defensive frailty but around winning '50:50' balls with Evra winning 6 from 7 and Moore winning 0 from 4|
Joe Allen again deserves a mention, winning 5 tackles from 5 attempts and having a ‘perfect’ second half with 25 accurate passes. Hopefully he can achieve great things with Swansea but if not and he does move on in a year or two it’ll be fascinating to see what he can achieve. Playing opposite Carrick and Scholes he looked a player completely at home in that level of company.
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Chalkboards: Created using Statszone http://fourfourtwo.com/statszone