According to Opta, a long ball is a forward pass of 35 yards or more that is kicked into space rather than a precise pass aimed at a particular teammate.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has always been hailed as a coach who hates the long ball approach but according to Opta, Chelsea play the least long balls in the league. That means Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City play more long balls than Chelsea.
Chelsea have played just 361 long balls this season compared to Arsenal’s 369, Tottenham’s 374, Manchester City’s 424 and Liverpool’s 478.
Manchester United have played more long balls than any of the top six sides in the Premier League. According to Opta, Manchester United have played 510 long balls this season. Maybe Jurgen Klopp was really right to call Manchester United a long ball team.