What Manchester United missed out on: Bayern man makes 105 passes v Arsenal

Thiago Alcantara

Thiago Alcantara completed 90 per cent of his 105 passes for Bayern Munich against Arsenal last night.

Much like Pep Guardiola's side as a whole, the 22-year-old didn't seem to leave second gear - and yet still produced a brilliant performance against Arsene Wenger's men.

The Spaniard oozed class as he controlled play from midfield, making 105 passes, with 90% of them being accurate, according to statistics from WhoScored.com. Of those 105, Thiago's passing included a cross, several long passes, two key passes and one accurate through ball.

Defensively, meanwhile, the 22-year-old made the most interceptions of any player - from both Bayern or Arsenal. And to top it off, Thiago enjoyed the most touches of anyone on the pitch, with 121 (Javi Martinez was second on 110).

Statistically speaking, then, it was a very impressive performance indeed. Yet, once again, emphasis must be placed on the fact that the Spaniard did not seem to be treating the Champions League last-16 second leg as anything more than a routine training session.

No wonder Manchester United wanted to bring Thiago to Old Trafford last summer. A look at United's Premier League statistics proves just how much David Moyes could do with him in the side.

PlayerTotal passes in a single gameAccurate passes in a single gameMins
Michael Carrick 143 135 90
Michael Carrick 116 102 90
Michael Carrick 103 94 90
Juan Mata 98 88 90
Michael Carrick 92 88 90
Michael Carrick 86 79 90
Michael Carrick 82 75 90
Tom Cleverley 82 77 90

As Opta data shows, Thiago's total number of passes against Arsenal would have been Man United's third-highest this season in the league. Michael Carrick has bettered the tally twice, falling just two short on one occasion, as well.

No other United player has made more than 100 passes in a single league match, however, emphasising their need for a midfield playmaker - an area they will surely seek to address this summer as well.

Thiago's performance against Arsenal was thus one of considerable class and, at the same time, ease. Moyes and co. certainly missed out on a first-rate player when Bayern hijacked their bid for the 22-year-old.

Did Thiago impress you for Bayern against Arsenal?

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