Nemanja Matic produced another commanding performance during Manchester United’s 4-0 win over Swansea City on Saturday.
The Serbian was presented with a different type of challenge against Swansea compared to the free-for-all against West Ham United last weekend, with Paul Clement’s side packing the midfield and remaining disciplined in their man-for-man marking.
But Matic was unruffled, hardly ever losing the ball and simultaneously spreading play with elegance and stopping Swansea from generating any meaningful chances in front of goal.
And his numbers from the game tell a story of compete domination from start to finish at the Liberty Stadium.
Nemanja Matic's game by numbers vs. Swansea:
90.2% pass accuracy
74 passes completed
3 tackles won
2 aerial duels won pic.twitter.com/f5T0VNE8Wj
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 19, 2017
Swansea battled hard for 80 minutes, working hard as a unit and just about keeping themselves in the game, but the 29-year-old’s presence precluded them from landing any punches.
Just when Jordan Ayew thought he was away with some space ahead, Matic’s looming frame was there to nip the ball away. Tammy Abraham, Tommy Carroll, Leroy Fer and Roque Mesa will tell you the same thing. He is less a constituent part and more of another wall of defence in its own right.
And as Paul Pogba streamed forward to push the knife in during the latter stages, you knew that Matic’s job – not necessarily pretty but carried out with total precision – was done. Swansea had simply given up.