Arsenal vs Manchester United – De Gea the difference

Arsenal vs Manchester United – De Gea the difference

Manchester United Spanish goalkeeper, David De Gea was in impeccable form as he thwarted Arsenal time and again at the Emirates in one of the most intriguing Premiership matches of the season.

The first thing to note is the number of saves David de Gea was forced to make. 14 in total.

That is the most of any goalkeeper stretching all the way til when the stat was forced tracked.

While Jesse Lingard was named as Man of the Match, it could be soundly argued that De Gea is more deserving of that award.

Within an 11 minute dreadful start in which Arsenal’s defense appeared to be dozing, United had put in clinical effort to go two goals to the good to the amazement of the throngs of fans at the Emirates.

The Gunners however dusted themselves up and threw everything at the Red Devils. The question at the end of the first half was how on earth did it end without Arsenal scoring at least a goal. They were that domineering.

Arsenal had 75% possession, 33 shots on goal, 15 of which were on target, and, per Opta, had an expected goal of five.

Pogba saw red against Arsenal
Photograph: Evening Standard

Now, there are many faults with expected goals models. They are, after all, just a model.

They will never be able to analyze a match as accurately as the judgement of the naked eye. But in this case, they do provide a nice outline as to the attacking dominance of the home side.

Moreover, Arsenal made 655 passes, in contrast to United’s 222, with over half of them coming in the final third, 365. In fact, United had just 85 passes in the final third, more than four times less than their hosts.

That is a sign of the dominance that Wenger’s side enjoyed but that eventually counted for nothing as De Gea produced series of saves that defied all logic.

At the end of the day, the only statistics that mattered was the fact that Arsenal lost their first game of the season at the Emirate to Manchester United.

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