5 Interceptions, 16 clearances: Under-fire Manchester United star Chris Smalling dominates Arsenal

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling bounced back from his horror show against City to over power Arsenal.

In his first club game back after his red card nightmare against Manchester City, Chris Smalling made amends.

The England international played a key role in helping Manchester United's backline stand strong in a 2-1 win against Arsenal.

Smalling put in his best game of the season statistically, making more interceptions and clearances than in any other.

  MatchInterceptions WonPassing AccuracyEffective ClearancesAerial Duels Won %Shots BlockedFouls
Chris Smalling Arsenal vs Man Utd 5 67% 16 66.67 1 1
Chris Smalling Leicester vs Man Utd 4 97% 11 100 1 1
Chris Smalling Sunderland vs Man Utd 2 96% 3 0 0 0
Chris Smalling Man City vs Man Utd 1 88% 2 100 0 3
Chris Smalling Man Utd vs Chelsea 1 87% 2 20 1 2
Chris Smalling Man Utd vs Swansea 1 89% 5 100 1 1

Smalling's passing accuracy was actually his worst of the season so far as Arsenal's forward line of Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez put him under pressure.

But when it came to good old-fashioned defending, breaking down attacks and clearing the ball up-field, Smalling was at his best.

The international break and backing of Roy Hodgson to start him for England in the face of the intense criticism which came his way after his red card clearly did Smalling the world of good; and considering their defensive injuries  and strenght of opponent, he could not have picked a better time to step up.

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