Monday, December 6, 2010

Central Midfield vs blackburn

Manchester United's last home game saw Micheal Carrick and Anderson take on Blackburn's central midfield trio, a situation most United fans dread, given past instances of our midfield getting overpowered by other trios(eg, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Barcelona). Obviously Blackburn's midfield isn't as technically or tactically skillful, but they cannot be taken for granted, especially given  their manager's penchant for hard-nosed, in-your-face, football coupled with pace and power. The inexperienced young defender Phil Jones lined up as a defensive shield behind central midfielders David Dunn and Herold Goulon, and was expected to curtail the attacking exploits of  Anderson, Carrick, Berbatov and Rooney. This attempt failed miserably, as the inexperience of both Goulon and Jones shone through, as United's midfield completed 182 passes to Blackburns 98. As you can see below, the range of passing on show from Anderson and Carrick was exceptional given their relative lack of recent form. Anderson completed a whopping 94 of 99 attempted passes, with Carrick completing 88 of 95.








 by Guardian Chalkboards

This was without doubt Anderson's greatest performance in 2 seasons, and he is finally justifying the supposed 20 million outlay United paid for his services.

Compared to Blackburn's midfield of Dunn and Jones, Anderson and Carrick dominated both the possession and passing statistics, with the United attackers making the most of the advantages gained from retaining possession. Such dominance creates ample chances for the strikers to score, and United will need to create and convert as many chances as they can against the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea if they want to win their 19th Barclays Premier League title.