I see plenty of disagreement on whether we played well or we didn't yesterday, in light of the 1-1 draw with Stoke City. Some say the chance creation is evident alone that we are playing 'good' football, while others say results matter and this was a poor result. Both are correct. Or at least, somewhat correct, if not entirely correct.
I saw a disconnection in our play compared to the Leicester game, which was much more fluid. I know we scored from corners for most of the goals, but it was the way we opened them up I was really happy with. If you take a look at the two graphics below, one is the average position and influence vs Leicester, and one vs Stoke.
You'll notice vs Leicester that there's a strong relationship between Pogba & Zlatan as well as Blind & Zlatan. This means we managed to feed a lot of ball into Ibrahimovic and on top of that, Rashford's average position suggests he was being used as either a decoy or as the outlet in this setup. In practice what this means is, Zlatan was used to draw in defenders and find Rashford who would either be in space or looking to exploit the space. The strong lines coming into Pogba from several other players also put him at the centre of the focus of the team, giving his involvement in the build up importance, and adding to the evidence he deserved his man of the match award.
The thing that stands out when you analyse the game against Stoke is how those thick lines leading from Pogba no longer exist. The channel between Pogba and Zlatan is almost none existent; this suggests we didn't get the ball into him. Certainly not via Pogba as much as against Leicester. The other thing to note is the position of Rashford. He's much wider and deeper, showing he wasn't getting in behind as often.
There can be reasons for the above. It may be that Leicester were more adventurous and that allowed us more space in behind, it could also be that Stoke saw and neutralised (sort of) the threat of Pogba, or at least the supply FROM Pogba, to Zlatan, as Pogba still managed to create quite a few opportunities for himself and others.
Here's McKola's post match review: