Almost 600 passes at 90% accuracy: Three key reasons United beat Crystal Palace

Fellaini United

We take a look at three key reasons why Manchester United were able to take all three-points against Crystal Palace.

Manchester United finally looked to show a little solidarity, composure and dominance in their win over Crystal Palace at the weekend. Which could have been a game similar to their embarrassing 2-1 loss to Stoke City at the start of the month.

We take a look at the key differences between the two matches and the key reasons why Manchester United's new style should be the one to follow in the future.

1) Central attacking play:

It shows through statistical analysis obtained on player positions in the match that United's positioning and play in the middle of the park was a lot more crisp and organised - which ultimately allowed Rooney to get more touches on the ball and in more dangerous positions.

It will also be a relief to United fans that their previous style of lumping the ball in the box at all costs seems to have changed completely. Manchester United played a staggering 116 crosses in their matches against Fulham and Stoke, who are in a similar position to Palace. However, in their game at Selhurst Park they only played 19, three less than Palace.

TeamMatchMatchdayCentral PassesTotal Cross
Manchester United Crystal Palace vs Man Utd 27 451.00 19
Manchester United Man Utd vs Fulham 25 335.00 81

2) Passing and passing accuracy:

One of the more staggering statistics in United's loss to Stoke was the amount of passes they made, and their relatively poor pass success with it.

Against Stoke, United made 347 successful passes, which involved 34 crosses and 54 long balls. The pass success was recorded at 79% which is similar to the average of Sunderland and Newcastle, so not quite a crisis but still poor in comparison to United's usual 85% region.

The win against Palace, in my opinion, was based fundamentally on the accuracy and number of passes made.

The Red Devils made 700 passes against Crystal Palace, over 200 more than their game with Stoke and with a vastly improved passing accuracy too.

TeamMatchMatchdayAccurate PassPassing accuracy
Manchester United Crystal Palace vs Man Utd 27 598 89.92
Manchester United Stoke vs Man Utd 24 347 78.51

3) Fellaini and Carrick partnership 

The sitting midfield duo of Fellaini and Carrick played a huge role in the win against Palace, and allowed the front four to concentrate purely on attacking play.

Between the two players they had 253 touches, made 200 successful passes with a 93% accuracy, four tackles and nine clearances.

It built the foundations on which United were able to build upon and shows great promise for the future. Fellaini in particular arguably had his strongest performance in a Manchester United shirt, despite just coming back from injury.

PlayerTouchesAccurate PassPassing Accuracy %Won TacklesEffective Clearances
Michael Carrick 155 135 94.41 1 2
Marouane Fellaini 98 65 91.55 3 7

image: © joncandy

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