Chelsea's potentially crucial win over Manchester United, as seen through the eyes of Stats Zone...
Chelsea took another big step towards securing the Premier League title, thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win over old foes Manchester United.
Louis van Gaal's side entered the match in fine form, having won their previous six Premier League matches, a run that included victories over Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City. It was therefore no surprise that United looked in confident mood during the early exchanges. In the first half hour, the visitors completed 48 passes in the attacking third - by comparison, Chelsea completed just 11.
However, it was the league leaders who made the breakthrough in the 38th minute - and it was no surprise to see Eden Hazard heavily involved once again. John Terry outmuscled Radamel Falcao, then squared to Cesc Fabregas, who found Oscar with a short pass. The Brazilian brilliantly found the Belgian with a back-heeled through-ball, and the PFA Player of the Year elect glided into the penalty area, before calmly slotting the ball between David de Gea's legs.
United responded well to going behind. In the second half they created far more chances - 10 to Chelsea's 4 - but they only hit the target twice, failing to ever really work Thibaut Courtois.
Particularly impressive was fullback Luke Shaw, who bombed up and down the left flank for 80 minutes, before being substituted. The former Southampton man got forward to create three chances, all from open play - and that was without neglecting his defensive duties.
Radamel Falcao's day wasn't quite so encouraging, however. The Colombian had three shots - all off target - and also made three fouls.
- The Blues enjoyed just 29% possession - their lowest in a home league game since Opta started collating the data in 2006.
- Chelsea have lost just one of their last 13 Barclays Premier League home games against Manchester United (won 8, draw 4, lost 1).
- Manchester United have suffered more Premier League defeats against Chelsea than versus any other side (16).
- The Red Devils have failed to score for the first time in 12 Premier League games and for only the second time in 2015 (the other was January's 1-0 defeat to Southampton).
- Eden Hazard has had a hand in 15 goals (eight goals, seven assists) in his last 17 Premier League appearances.
- Oscar has provided more Premier League assists in 2014/15 (8) than in his previous two seasons combined (7).
- Chelsea have scored first in all 20 of their games in all competitions in 2015.
- The Blues have registered just three shots on target in their last two Premier League games.
- Chelsea have now gone 364 days since their last defeat at home in the Premier League (April 19, 2014 vs Sunderland).
- Chelsea have now gone 12 games unbeaten (W9 D3); the current longest run in the top-flight.
- This was the 102nd PL clean sheet Chelsea have kept under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho (190 games).