Manchester United are now 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League. A professional victory at Loftus Road has given United a lead that no team has ever over-hauled. Rafael scored a thunderbolt of a goal clocked at 77mph (123.9 kmph) from 29 yards out with it being touted as one of the goals of the season (stats via @ManUtdPlace).
Whilst both teams were pretty level on possession and also on total shots many would say that the game was even. However if you look at the in-depth match summary from our Stats Centre (powered by Opta) you can see that Manchester United attempted 11 shots inside QPR’s area whilst only conceding only 5 in return and restricted QPR to shooting from outside the area.
This was also the third consecutive clean-sheet for Manchester United in the Premier League and they’ve used three different centre-back pairings in each of the three games. We tweeted this earlier on to detail which defenders were used:
We published an article on the site earlier this week stating that Sir Alex is rotating his central defenders so that they do not burn out and also to keep the ageing Vidic and Ferdinand relatively fit all season. As you can see from the tweet above all three defenders have played two games each in the last three and all three games were clean-sheets. Regardless of the opposition it is very important for Manchester United to continue to do this as they were leaking goals against the likes of Southampton and Reading earlier in the season. It’s not happening any long and Manchester United are now odds on to win the Premier League.
Match stats are below before we move onto some Manchester United creativity stats.
The reason why we’re looking at the United creativity stats is because nine different players out of the fourteen that appeared (including substitutes) all created a chance. The only players not to create a chance were De Gea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Carrick and van Persie (note a chance is only created via a direct pass to the player who shoots/scores).
Ashley Young and Luis Nani were the only players to create more than one chance for Manchester United today and Luis Nani got the assist. Talking about Luis Nani; OptaJoe tweeted the following during the game:
[quote]32 – Manchester United’s Nani has assisted more goals than any other player in the Premier League since August 2009. Creator.
Manchester United should be crowned champions way before the end of the season barring an almighty choke that would be bigger than last years. However Sir Alex will not allow his side to make the same mistakes as last season and Manchester City do not look like they’re going to put up any sort of a fight. The title should be a formality now.
All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.com – Subscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.