What We Learned From Man United’s Worst Ever Premier League Season?

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Manchester United finished their season with a win against Brighton, but this was a season to forget for the majority of things. Here is what we learned from all of it.

Negative Records All Over The Place

This was a season in which Man United went for a big number of negative records. In the Champions League, the team not only crashed out of European football behind Copenhagen and Galatasaray, but they also conceded the record-breaking number of goals. And in the league, things did not end up any better.

Man United finished eighth, with mere 60 points, level with Newcastle who ended just above them. The reason is the fact United scored 28 goals less than Eddie Howe’s side. This is the worst-ever finish for United since the introduction of the Premier League in 1992 and the team lost 14 matches this season, as many as West Ham and Brighton. With 57 goals scored, they were just ahead of 16th-placed Brentford with 56, or the relegated Luton who notched 52 goals. With 58 goals conceded, United finished the season with a negative goal-difference and the likes of Everton were far better in this regard, with 51 goals conceded.

United Were Lucky To Even Do This Much

According to Football365 and their calculations based on expected goals throughout the campaign, Man United would have finished in 16th place with mere 40 points. In fact, United had a lower xG than their opponents in 24 matches of the 38 they played. Clearly, metrics like this one are far from perfect and it is not how football works, but it goes to show that throughout the season, United were underwhelming in a majority of matches. The fact United on average allowed 17.6 shots per match to their opponents is incredible in all the wrong ways. They are 19th in the league in this regard, with Sheffield United (who shipped 104 goals) allowing 17.8 shots per game. Even Aston Villa, who finished fourth in this regard, was at 12 shots allowed per match, and do not get us started on Man City’s league-leading 7.7 shots per game. Defensive problems were there to see for everyone throughout the campaign and at times Man United looked like a lost cause.

The Worst Of The Big Six

Man United finished the season 31 points behind champions Man City, 22 points behind rivals Liverpool and eight points behind Aston Villa, the fourth team to qualify for Champions League. There are so many reasons for that, but another good indicator of United’s lack of quality this season were the matches against the Big Six. On a separate table, consisting of just these teams, Man United finished dead last with six points from 10 matches. United won just one of these matches and scored 11 goals to 21 conceded. They were worse than Tottenham who ended up with nine, Liverpool had 12, Chelsea 13, Manchester City 15 and Arsenal incredible 22. Sure, this does not have to mean so much, as Arsenal still failed to win the title, but this table shows a clear gap United have when they are expected to perform against the strongest teams in the country.

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