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By the Numbers: Philadelphia Union vs Atlanta United

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A look back at the numbers behind the Union’s comeback win over Atlanta United

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Philadelphia Union Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

In arguably the biggest game in Philadelphia Union regular season history, the Philadelphia Union delivered a dramatic come-from-behind win over reigning MLS Cup Champions Atlanta United.

Atlanta United entered the game atop the Eastern Conference, and were winners of their previous 7 matches, including their U.S. Open Cup victory over Minnesota United earlier in the week.

This match should be a huge confidence boost for the Union for the remainder of the season and playoffs, as Atlanta United have been challenging for the top spot in the East all season long.

Player Position Chart

While Jim Curtain played a similar 4-3-2-1 formation to the formation against DC United; they differed in their deployment. Against D.C. United, the Union relied on Kacper Przybylko’s hold up play, which allowed runners to run through the channels. However, against Atlanta United, the Union played more centrally, with Fafa Picault playing more as a second striker rather than a true winger.

Key Numbers

5: Successful dribbles for Jamiro Monteiro. His ability to carry the ball through the midfield into the final third was crucial for the Union’s attack.

1.07: xG in open play for the Union. This highlight’s the Union’s (particularly Kacper Przybylko’s) ability to convert low quality shots into goals. Also interestingly, Jack Elliott led the Union in xG Chain. Typically not what you would expect from a center back.

12: Passes completed in the penalty area (26 attempted) compared to Atlanta United’s 6 completed.

70: Ball recoveries by the Union (led by Medunjanin’s 12)

2: Defensive errors by Union players leading to shots, however none led to goals.

5: Long passes completed by Medunjanin (of his 56 completed passes)

45: Percentage of passes by Jamiro Monteiro’s passes which were forward, highlighting his role in pushing the attack to be more direct

98: Passes completed in the attacking third by the Union, compared to Atlanta’s 71

33: Passes completed by the Union in the half-spaces, with 18 of those being into the penalty area. The Union’s attack was able to find some space between in the channels between the three center backs for Atlanta and had success creating chances, ultimately leading to one assist.

Sources: Opta via Whoscored.com, Betweentheposts.net, StatsZone, American Soccer Analysis