Manchester United’s 4-0 triumph over Chelsea on Sunday may still feel like a dream to many supporters of the Red Devils.
Chelsea’s fresh gaffer Frank Lampard may share in the astonishment that while United were expected to put up a spirited display, no one realistically expected them to launch into such a goal-fest.
While the offensive brilliance stole the show, the sheer effort put up by their backline ought not to be ignored, either.
For their credit, Chelsea weren’t a passive side and many would argue that the scoreline didn’t at all reflect the manner in which the London Blues played. On multiple occasions during the game the away side hit the woodwork with Emerson and Tammy Abraham, in particular, posing great threats.
However, the defensive additions of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire came in clutch, in that regard.
While many have been talking about how their presence alone acted as a catalyst to United keeping the cleansheet, the raw statistics from the fixture paint an even more convincing picture.
Maguire was an all-round centre-back during the game, maintaining seven clearances and four interceptions, the most of any player on the pitch.
Stats of Aaron Wan Bissaka & Harry Maguire against Chelsea. pic.twitter.com/PLpQDhIca6
— The Red Devils (@utdtrd) August 12, 2019
Likewise, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, aka the Spider, was a tackling machine, securing six tackles and coming out on top of two of the four take-ons he attempted.
Both debutants also put up an 86% passing accuracy which aided the conduit-play. Despite the intensity of their defensive approach, both players weren’t found guilty of a single foul during the fixture.
Even the catalyst presence argument holds great weight as Lindelof felt more composed with Maguire by his side. Most of all, David De Gea appeared to be back to his confident shot-stopping brilliance now that he knew his defense was in good hands.