The loss of Nemanja Vidic to injury was a massive blow to Manchester United as he is not only Manchester United’s best player, but he is the best defender in the world. His absence for the rest of the season means that the rest of the Manchester United defence will have to step it up and they went some way to doing that in last night’s game vs Wolves.
Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans really seems like the preferred partnership for Manchester United. Ferdinand’s ability and experience shone through last night, showing why keeping the English defender fit will be important to Manchester United’s chances of winning the Premier League this season. Rio Ferdinand dominated in the defence last night. 20 clearances were made, 14 of which were headed. He won 100% of his aerial duels and also made 2 interceptions. As the covering defender, he didn’t have to or attempt to make a tackle all game.
Jonny Evans also had a solid game for Man Utd. 100% tackle success rate making 3 tackles in total and he won 4 out of 5 of his aerial duels, which does dispell the myth that he isn’t too good in the air. He also made 10 clearances last night and 1 interception. Jonny Evans also won 9 out of 10 ground duels, capping a wonderful defensive display from the Northern Ireland international.
The ability of both defenders to play out from the back also cannot be overlooked. Both had pass completions of over 80%. Rio Ferdinand 81% and Jonny Evans 86%. Jonny Evans completed 42 passes, the 3rd most for Man Utd last night. This acted as a good base for Manchester United to begin their attacks and served to be fruitful as they went on to score 4 goals.
In the end, the clean sheet wasn’t kept since Evra was beaten in the air towards the back post however, a faultless display from the two centre backs meant that this was a very encouraging performance that should fill the fans with more confidence going through the season without captain Nemanja Vidic.
We’ll leave you with some defensive stats from the game Vs Wolves from our Quick Stats Area (which you can subscribe for here):