Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs Chelsea’s Diego Costa – A Statistical Comparison

Diego Costa
Diego Costa

A Statistical Comparison – Diego Costa vs Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Manchester United were dealt a huge blow after it was revealed that talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not play anymore this season. With 28 goals in all competitions, he stands as the top goal scorer for United this season and there are very few strikers in the Premier League who have been more productive.

One such player who is taking his side to closer to the Premier League title game after game is Diego Costa. He scored the goal that made sure Chelsea took all 3 points from their game against Southampton recently and has been in terrific form this season. So how does the Manchester United man fare against the Spaniard? Here is a statistical comparison between the two prolific goal scorers.

Costa vs Zlatan

Both players play in different teams and setups but have similar roles in their sides. They act as target men when their teams are penned back in defence and are poachers in front of goal. Costa has 19 goals to his name, 2 goals more than Zlatan, having played 300 minutes of football more than the Swede. Both players are dominant in the air and have scored 2 and 4 goals respectively via headers this season.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic

They have some great technique and vision, making them dangerous, and their similar passing accuracy at around 75% is up there with the best in their position in the top flight. Zlatan has been more creative than Costa and has 41 key passes and 5 assists to his name. The Spaniard has just 27 key passes but has assisted a goal more than Zlatan. It is believed among fans that Zlatan has been more wasteful, but he and Costa have a similar shot accuracy of around 56% to their names.

Though not great dribblers, both players have a decent take on success rates with Zlatan at 52% and Costa at 41%. However, Zlatan has been far more effective in the air. He has won 51% of his aerial duels in his debut season in England, which is astonishing. Costa has won only 26% of his aerial duels.

However, the biggest difference between the two players has been the way they go about things. While Zlatan likes to hold onto the ball to use his strength, Costa is more than happy to go down with even the most minimal of contacts, winning free kicks regularly. Costa has won an astonishing 82 fouls this season, which is bettered by just a couple of players in England. Zlatan has won just 20 this season.

It is difficult to say who has been more effective for their clubs but one thing is for sure, both players are tailor-made for the Premier League and it will be a loss if they are not a part of it next season.

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