Blades vs Villa: xG close but masks the story as visitors fail to hit the target


United won the xG battle (1.13 to 0.89) but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Both teams had about the same amount of shots (7 and 8) but Villa didn’t have one on target and looked fairly toothless for a lot of the game.

Blades’ goals came on 50′ and 73′, with Grealish’s missed penalty at 77′ (not on xG timeline).


This was also a rare occurrence in that the Blades had more possession than the opposition. Below are possession numbers by 10-minute period for the game.


Once again, and bucking last season’s trend, a lot of the offensive action came down the right. You can see who was involved when the ball got to that area in the average position map below — Basham, Baldock, Lundstram and McGoldrick — with Fleck benefitting twice from balls from that area of the pitch as he came in from the left/centre.



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