App stats reveal Reds deserved more at Arsenal
Manchester United might have fallen to a first domestic defeat under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer against Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, but on the balance of play, the Reds could have come away with a point or even all three.
Supporters who followed the game on our Official App, which delivered a flow of live statistics from the Emirates Stadium, could have been forgiven for thinking Solskjaer's men were unfortunate to leave with a 2-0 loss.
The visitors performed positively according to many of the main statistical measures, despite going down to Granit Xhaka's first-half drive and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's second-half penalty.
According to our App stats, United outperformed Arsenal in many areas.
The Reds enjoyed more of the possession (54 per cent), made 16 more forward passes than the hosts and had two more touches in the opposition area.
United also delivered more crosses and more shots on target, and hit the woodwork on two occasions through Romelu Lukaku and Fred.
Bernd Leno, Arsenal's German goalkeeper, was second only to midfielder Granit Xhaka as the game's top 'influencer' after making four saves, which backs up the general stats' suggestion that United were a dangerous attacking force at the Emirates Stadium.
We also had five players in the top eight 'influencers' list – Luke Shaw, Smalling, Ashley Young, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood.
Of course, the only stats that truly matter lie in the goals column, as United fans know only too well after last week's epic, rearguard effort at PSG. The team had less than 20 per cent of possession for much of that game, but managed to grab a sensational and decisive third goal in injury time.
But what the stats from Sunday's match do suggest is that the Reds can, at the very least, take heart from the display against Arsenal ahead of another tough away match – this Saturday's Emirates FA Cup quarter-final against Wolves at Molineux.
Granit Xhaka topped the 'influencer' charts, but United had five of the top eight players.
As Solskjaer said post-match: “We are disappointed with the result but looking at the performance, you cannot say it was a game we deserved to lose. We created five big chances, hit the woodwork twice. The performance was good, result was disappointing.
"We have won games we have not deserved to win and today we lost a game we did not deserve to lose."