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7 clearances, 90% pass accuracy: United defender a tank in defeat

Manchester United defender Phil Jones produced a promising performance against Manchester City last night, although he seemed to be the only one who did.

The red half of Manchester didn't cover themselves in much glory last night, as their players and management had nowhere to hide after a heavy defeat to local rivals Manchester City.

The fingers of blame were being pointed left, right and centre, however, one player that still won the praise of some United supporters was England's young centre-back Phil Jones.

Jones, relatively speaking, had a really good game, made harder by the fact his team-mates simply weren't at the races.

The 22-year-old was partnered next to Rio Ferdinand in the heart of the Manchester United defence, which in truth, just made his task against Manchester City even harder.

The experienced ex-England star has been a shadow of his former self recently and in comparison to the vibrant City attack, he simply proved not up to scratch.

Jones, on the other hand, proved he is up to the task of leading Manchester United into the next generation with a stable performance against the most potent attack in the division. However, it simply proved too much for one man to deal with and in the end he was part of a defence that conceded three goals.

Nevertheless, the former Blackburn Rovers player was undisputed when it came to Manchester United's Man of the Match based on opta stats, largely due to the number of incidents he nullified and dealt with. 

PlayerTeamPosTotal ClearanceEffective ClearanceDuel WonMins
Phil Jones Man Utd DF 7 7 3 90

It shows just how important and effective he was when clearing the ball, in fact, he made more clearances and won more aerial duals than anyone else on the pitch.

And it wasn't just his defensive contribution that won him praise after the game, with many people praising his smartly thought-out and careful distribution through-out the game.

PlayerTeamPosTotal PassAccurate PassFwd PassTotal Long BallsAccurate Long BallsMins
Phil Jones Man Utd DF 21 19 9 2 2 90

After a loss, especially like the one against Manchester City, it's still important to remember to take stock of the positives from the game. Although, in truth, there wasn't much for Moyes or supporters to go on, I thought Jones's performance was very credible.

It certainly helps ease worry over defensive progress in the future, especially if he can keep putting in this standard of performance and higher.

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