Manchester United 3-1 Huddersfield Town: 5 Talking Points, Premier League 2018/19
Manchester United entertained Huddersfield Town at Old Trafford on Boxing Day as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made his home debut as manager. It was a joyous Christmas for United, as they claimed a 3-1 win.
Anthony Martial missed the game due to illness, while summer recruit Fred got a rare start for United. Nemanja Matic opened the scoring when he tapped home from close range after a set piece situation. Paul Pogba doubled United's lead in the second half when he latched on to Ander Herrera's pass. Pogba made it 3-0 soon after when he scored sumptuously from outside the box.
Mathias Jørgensen got a late consolation for the visitors from a set piece in the dying minutes. The win was the second straight one for Solskjaer, while Huddersfield are now rooted to the bottom of the table.
On that note, here are the major talking points from the game which unfolded at Old Trafford.
#1 Statistics showing a considerable change in United's attacking instincts
Under Jose Mourinho, United used to adopt a more conservative approach to games. This approach was successful last season, but it has not worked this time. Solskjaer has vocally said that his side needs to practice attacking football, and the statistics give weight to his words.
United's possession against Huddersfield was 64.7% up from their season average of 53.5%. They took 16 shots, which are also up from the average of 13.1. The dribbles are up from 7.4 to 10, the key passes are up from 9.6 to 11. Most importantly, the goals scored are up as well. The attacking numbers seem to be improving across the board.
Solskjaer said, "The attacking philosophy is in the walls of Man United. That’s tradition, that’s history, that’s how we play and want to play. I said that when we get one goal then we want to get two, and when we get two then we want to get three. That’s the nature of this club: you always go an attack." Two games on, he is definitely keeping his word thus far.