Louis van Gaal has already said that Manchester United's match against Leicester City on Sunday was won and lost in the full-back areas, and the stats seem to back him up.
Leicester ran out 5-3 winners over United in a pulsating encounter at the King Power Stadium, and Ritchie De Laet's performance compared to Marcos Rojo was evidence of the Foxes' dominance in the full-back areas.
|Position||Total Clearance||Interception||Successful dribble||Effective Blocked Cross||Touches||Accurate Pass||Won Tackle||Mins Played|
|Ritchie de Laet||DF||6||3||2||1||75||21||6||90|
De Laet's energy going forward provided a useful outlet for his side, whilst his defensive prowess meant that the newly promoted side's defence also looked more solid than their more illustrious opponents.
Rojo was bought by United in a summer of expense from Van Gaal's side, but he was outperformed by a man who United allowed to leave.
De Laet joined Leicester from Old Trafford back in 2012 and, from the performance he put in at the weekend, it seems that this might have been a mistake.
The Belgian completed considerably more tackles that his United counterpart, whilst he also blocked more crosses and made more interceptions. He also showed greater willingness to run with the ball than Rojo, showing his attacking intent.
United are known to be struggling in defensive situations, especially at centre-back, but they would have been expecting one of their high-profile additions to put in a better performance than someone who they deemed not good enough two years ago.
De Laet really did show his former club what they were missing and he will be hoping that he can build on this performance now.
Meanwhile, United's strengths and weaknesses were perfectly encapsulated in the match. They have have a wealth of attacking options now, but their defensive weakness was all too noticeable and until this is eradicated any up-turn in form is not likely.
The side have a weight of expectation on them to reach the top four this time around, but Van Gaal already appears to have exhausted all his defensive options - with the exception of bringing Luke Shaw in.
The 19-year-old is yet to make his United debut, but he is under considerable pressure to perform when he does make his first appearance for his new club.
That could come in the Red Devils' weekend match against West Ham United, where they will be looking to pick themselves up from another considerable disappointment.