Manchester United calmed the storm around the club after the team beat Chelsea 2-1 in a performance that merited a much bigger scoreline.
On paper, the game against Chelsea after the battering against Newcastle was hardly ideal, especially in front of an anxious Old Trafford.
However, what transpired was one of United’s best attacking displays of the season.
The team created chances at will and finished with an xG (Expected Goals) figure of 4.46, which is the largest since…….Chelsea in May of this year.
Man Utd’s best xG outputs since February 2021:
◎ 5.31(xG) vs Chelsea (May 2023)
◎ 4.46(xG) vs Chelsea (tonight)
— The xG Philosophy (@xGPhilosophy) December 6, 2023
It is a win for the stat aficionados who will say that Ten Hag’s team have got Chelsea’s number, bossing the Blues at home again.
The remarkable thing about this stat is that Mauricio Pochettino wasn’t even the manager of the club when the 5.31 xG was recorded.
Frank Lampard’s team were thoroughly outplayed that day as the Chelsea legend’s time at the club was coming to a whimpering end.
However, this will hurt Chelsea more, as they are at the starting stages of a new project and a United team in crisis mode has just bossed them.
United exploited Chelsea’s weakness on the wings, with Colvill not a natural fullback, Cucurella playing out of position at right-back in the first half, then Reece James not being match-fit.
Alejandro Garnacho had Chelsea’s fullbacks on skates for the entire game, while Antony had his best game of the season as well.
The expensively assembled midfield pivot of Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo was left watching as United academy’s Scott McTominay helped himself to a brace.
Therefore, for Ten Hag, the problems might still be plenty at Old Trafford, but beating, and bossing Chelsea at home, is not one.