Manchester United were let out of jail yesterday, thanks to a Phil Jones goal – here are the other stats to prove why he was the match winner.

Manchester United’s defender-turned-midfielder Phil Jones proved to be the match winner for David Moyes last night, but it wasn’t the only impressive side of his game.

Manchester United were made to work hard for their 1-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk and on another day it could have easily gone another way. However, due to the heroics of the United defence and in particular Jones – they were able to nail top spot, knocking Shakhtar out of the competition.

United had 55% of the ball at Old Trafford, but had to deal with constant waves of desperate Donetsk attacks.In total Shakhtar took 17 shots on goal, managing just THREE of them on target.

Individually it was Phil Jones that was able to make the headlines, but it wasn’t just for his well taken goal – it was his defensive efforts, and general hard-work that was most impressive.

The former Blackburn man was officially the busiest man on the park, having 84 touches of the ball. That was 10 more than his nearest team-mate in Jonny Evans and 3 more than the closest to him overall in Croatian Darijo Srna, who had 81 touches.

And he made good use of the ball when he had it. Making 59 passes overall, the most out of any midfield player on the pitch and with a pass accuracy of 92% this was evident through-out the match.

Defensively he was also brilliant:
Tackles – 2
Interceptions – 4 (most on the pitch)
Shots blocked – 2
Effective clearances – 3

And going forward it was obviously 1 shot, 1 goal. However, he did also make the same amount of dribbles as Adnan Januzaj on the night and was joint highest for United in this regard.

Overall, it seems that Phil Jones was able to impress a lot of people in Manchester last night, and is another game that shows that he is capable of living up to his billing.

Roy Hodgson… take note.

image: © nasmac