Juan Mata's crossing at the Britannia left much to be desired for.
Juan Mata has had an excellent start to life at Manchester United, but there was one area of his game at the weekend which clearly required more work.
As United crashed to a surprise 2-1 defeat, Mata attempted nine crosses, not one of them finding a teammate.
As far as United are concerned, only one player from the Red Devils has attempted more this season and found a teammate on no occasions, Wayne Rooney in the home game against Stoke earlier in the season.
The below table illustrates all United players who have attempted nine or more crosses in any game this season, and there are some woeful statistics in there.
Mata wasn't the only offender at the weekend, Ashley Young managed to find a teammate with just one of nine crosses.
|Player||Match||Matchday||Team||Pos||Crossing Accuracy %||Total Cross||Accurate Cross||Mins|
|Patrice Evra||Man Utd vs Stoke||09||Man Utd||DF||22.22||9||2||90|
|Juan Mata||Stoke vs Man Utd||24||Man Utd||MF||0.00||9||0||90|
|Nani||Man Utd vs West Brom||06||Man Utd||MF||33.33||9||3||90|
|Wayne Rooney||Spurs vs Man Utd||13||Man Utd||FW||11.11||9||1||90|
|Luis Antonio Valencia||Man Utd vs Arsenal||11||Man Utd||MF||22.22||9||2||90|
|Ashley Young||Liverpool vs Man Utd||03||Man Utd||MF||11.11||9||1||63|
|Ashley Young||Stoke vs Man Utd||24||Man Utd||MF||11.11||9||1||90|
|Patrice Evra||Sunderland vs Man Utd||07||Man Utd||DF||30.00||10||3||90|
|Adnan Januzaj||Man Utd vs Swansea||21||Man Utd||MF||30.00||10||3||90|
|Wayne Rooney||Cardiff vs Man Utd||12||Man Utd||FW||70.00||10||7||90|
|Luis Antonio Valencia||Spurs vs Man Utd||13||Man Utd||MF||9.09||11||1||84|
|Wayne Rooney||Man Utd vs Stoke||09||Man Utd||FW||0.00||12||0||90|
|Luis Antonio Valencia||Man Utd vs Spurs||20||Man Utd||MF||7.69||13||1||90|
|Wayne Rooney||Man Utd vs Spurs||20||Man Utd||FW||20.00||15||3||90|
United unsurprisngly rank in the bottom five teams in terms of crossing accuracy in the Premier League this season, completing 20 per cent of their attempts in total. Rivals Manchester City top the charts on 27 per cent, having made more successful crosses with less attempts.
|Team||Crossing Accuracy %||Total Cross||Accurate Cross||Games|
As for Mata, well there are signs the weekend was a one-off, for balanced on his games for United and Chelsea this season he has a better record than all but two players of his new side:
|Player||Team||Pos||Crossing Accuracy %||Total Cross||Accurate Cross||Apps||Mins|
|Ryan Giggs||Man Utd||MF||47.62||21||10||10||473|
|Chris Smalling||Man Utd||DF||41.18||17||7||17||1,218|
|Juan Mata||Man Utd||MF||28.41||88||25||15||1,009|
|Patrice Evra||Man Utd||DF||20.93||86||18||23||2,010|
|Ashley Young||Man Utd||MF||20.34||59||12||13||663|
|Wayne Rooney||Man Utd||FW||20.16||129||26||19||1,576|
|Luis Antonio Valencia||Man Utd||MF||18.48||92||17||20||1,503|
|Robin van Persie||Man Utd||FW||17.50||40||7||13||1,053|
|Shinji Kagawa||Man Utd||MF||16.67||12||2||9||588|
|Adnan Januzaj||Man Utd||MF||16.00||50||8||17||1,053|
With two assists in two games, there's plenty for United fans to be positive about regarding their new addition. He even records more key passes in two games (7) than Marouane Fellaini has in eight matches - just one.
However with Moyes' side struggling for accurate crosses in general all season long, it's natural for fans to hope Mata helps solve that problem, rather than having his own game brought down as part of a general malaise.
image: © John Lord