Manchester United, it must be said, struggled against Wolverhampton Wanderers in their Premier League opener last night.
A 1-0 victory with a clean sheet is by no means a bad start, but to leave it at that would ignore the intense pressure The Red Devils were under for several periods of the match.
Indeed, Wolves managed to create 23 shooting opportunities, and as discussed by The Peoples Person elsewhere, it was down to debutant Andre Onana to bail them.
But it was notable that much of Wolves’ most dangerous attacks came through the middle, with Matheus Nunes’ and Matheus Cunha’s marauding runs through the centre of the pitch, or from Pedro Neto’s skill on their right flank.
On United’s own right-hand side, Aaron Wan-Bissaka kept things typically tight with his trademark skill in one-on-one encounters.
In terms of clearances, shots blocked, interceptions and tackles, the former Crystal Palace man was successful in two of each.
Hailed by many as possibly the toughest defender in Europe to get past, he was a welcome salve to the Wolves setup when their attacks came down his flank.
But it is his attacking qualities and work in possession that have often come under scrutiny in the past. The Spider is showing an incredible rate of improvement in that area.
Wan-Bissaka completed three dribbles, more than any of his teammates aside from Marcus Rashford, making him United’s primary ball carrier from deep over the course of the match. Few would have predicted that going into the match.
His 91% passing accuracy was higher than any player on the pitch to have played more than one half – all the more impressive considering the aggressive mid-block The Old Gold have taken to in the short space of time since Gary O’Neil’s appointment earlier in the week.
That he showed creativity in creating three chances – one of them the delightful chipped cross to set up Raphael Varane’s eventual winner – was also hugely encouraging.
That cross, in particular, is not in Diogo Dalot’s locker, and while the Portuguese fullback still has some qualities Wan-Bissaka does not, the Englishman will likely be keeping his place in the opening games of the season at the very least.