The stats that show why Manchester United are struggling in the Premier League
Sorting out United’s defensive issues should be Jose Mourinho’s priority when domestic action resumes, as stats show how costly those lapses at the back are proving to be.
After 12 Premier League games this season United are producing similar numbers to last year going forward, but the defensive record is a major area of concern and the primary reason they find themselves in eighth place.
The derby defeat to City before the November international break has left United a dozen points off top spot, but they are scoring a similar number of goals to last season.
The tally of 20 goals in 12 games matches up with the 68 they netted last season, although the conversion rate from shots has fallen from 20% to 17%.
Manchester United top stories, November 19
United are still making just over 500 passes per game on average and the same number of tackles, although they are winning 58% of tackles this season compared to 65% last year.
It’s defensively where United’s problems lie though. They conceded 28 times in the whole of last season, just 0.73 a game, but have already shipped 21 goals this season, at 1.75 a game.
Mourinho’s side kept clean sheets in half of their league fixtures last season, but have kept the opposition out just once in 12 Premier League games so far.
The form of Romelu Lukaku has been a concern in the early weeks of the season and his run of 10 games without a goal has seen him dropped to the bench recently.
The Belgian striker has just four goals in 11 games this season, having hit 16 in 34 last season, but he’s taking less shots as well. Lukaku was averaging two shots a game last term, but has managed just 1.36 shots per game in 2018/19 so far.
Lukaku v Martial goals per game
While Lukaku has become shot shy the opposite is true for Paul Pogba, who is once again breaking the mould when it comes to stats. He’s tried his luck 28 times so far this term, with 2.5 shots a game, compared to 1.7 last year.
That might suggest he’s playing further forward, but he has produced 101 long passes already this season, at 9.1 a game, compared to 6.4 a game last season, while the number of total passes he’s playing remains the same.
Questions have been raised over David De Gea’s form at times, although more for Spain than for United, and he is making 3.5 saves per game this season, compared to 3.1 last season, although the fact United are still conceding a goal a game more than they did in 2017/18 shows they are facing more shots, with De Gea’s save statistics pretty similar.