On a weekend of Premier League action peppered with goals, we use FFT's Stats Zone app to share a few things you may have missed...
1) CLEVERLY'S INFLUENCE IS GROWING
While Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young hogged the headlines thanks to their goal-scoring exploits in Manchester United’s 8-2 thumping of Arsenal, the huge contribution made by rookie midfielder Tom Cleverley went relatively unheralded. The 22-year-old completed more passes than any other United player (61) and was one of four Red Devils to attempt five tackles during the match. Our ‘player influence’ map shows he was perhaps United’s most involved player on the day.
2) LUKA MODRIC IS NOT FOR TURNING
The Croatian, according to Harry Redknapp, had expressed a wish not to play in Sunday's match with Manchester City due to his head having been 'turned' by Chelsea's ongoing interest. But, on the face of it, it appears he still performed in a similar fashion to the equivalent fixture 12 months ago. Modric completed just two fewer passes in his 62 minutes on the pitch than he did in the same period of last season's 0-0 draw. He did make four fewer interceptions than last season's fixture, but that is perhaps to be expected give the pace, purpose and incisiveness with which City sprayed the ball about.
3) SAMIR NASRI GIVES IT 100%
In the same game, City new boy Samir Nasri underlined exactly why Roberto Mancini was so keen to sign him for big money now, rather than wait a year and nab him on a free transfer. The Frenchman was a constant menace, completing 100% of this 37 passes in the final third, creating 11 chances along the way - equalling the highest achieved by any player in a single match last season (Florent Malouda vs Birmingham City). Three of those chances were converted, giving the formal Arsenal man a hat-trick of assists, a feat last achieved in the Premier League by Chelsea’s Didier Drogba at Wigan last August.
4) MATA ALREADY 44 TIMES THE PLAYER TORRES IS...
Despite only entering the fray with 23 minutes left on the clock, Chelsea new boy Juan Mata made a real impact on his Premier League bow. The Spaniard misplaced just two of his 28 attempted passes, with only Frank Lampard achieving a higher pass completion rate for the Blues (94%). Mata also made 14 successful passes in the final third, the fourth highest for the Stamford Bridge side (behind Lampard, Ashley Cole and Jose Bosingwa – all of whom played the whole 90 minutes). Perhaps tellingly, this was twice as many as compatriot Fernando Torres, who played 83 minutes. Mata has also scored as many Premier League goals for Chelsea in 23 minutes as Torres has in 1,016, making him roughly 44 times better...well, not really.
5) SWANSEA ARE 1,354 PASSES WITHOUT A GOAL
While many pundits predicted the Swans would wow with their brand of aesthetically-pleasing football this term, Brendan Rodgers side are yet to score a goal in 270 minutes of top flight football despite completing more passes than any other side in the division. It is perhaps telling that, of those 1354 completed passes, only 42.6% (578) have been passes forwards, while they are also the only side in the top flight this season to have played under half of their passes into the opposition half.
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