Manchester United found themselves 11 points away from the top spot after their failure to take all points against West Ham at the Old Trafford on Sunday , and with this, they remain on the 6th spot on the log.
Sunday’s performance wasn’t bad from United, at least not because they didn’t do much in terms of creating goalscoring chances. Rather, it boiled down to their failure to convert more than one out of the 17 shots they registered.
This shortcoming of theirs is just the summary of how their season has been since the start of 2016-17; very poor and alarmingly underwhelming in front of goal. And it’s the only reason they are in 6th position after 13 games.
It is their worst return of points and position in 26 years, as even Moyes had won 22 points after 13 fixtures but was on 8th on the log.
At the back, United have conceded 15 goals, just 5 more than Chelsea who have the best defensive record at the moment. So, all is well at the back, at least to some extent considering Liverpool have shipped just 1 less than them.
It is at the other end of the pitch that calls for great concerns should be made. In games against West Ham, Stoke and Burnley, United fired 79 shots in total, but could only score 2, an evidence that their attack is betraying them.
Just like the 1st-placed Chelsea, Manchester United have created 164 chances this term, surprisingly. But they have managed to convert just 18 as opposed to the Blues’ 29. It means for every 9.1 chances they create, they muster enough courage to find the back of the net just once. It has taken Chelsea just 5.7 chances to get a goal.
At the moment, only Southampton (11.7 chances for a goal) and West Ham (9.7 chances) have worse conversion rates than the Red Devils. Arsenal have the best, as it has taken them just 5 chances to find a goal, having scored 28 in 139 chances created.
It hasn’t been about losing the chances created alone. Their lack of a killer instinct in the attacking third has seen them miss glaring sitters. And they are the worst side when it comes to wasting such clear-cut chances despite creating the 3rd highest.
As expected, City have created most big chances thus far (25), and they are closely followed by Liverpool (23). Both are 2nd and 3rd best respectively in converting their clear-cut chances with 60.61% and 58.06% conversion rate respectively.
Poor United have wasted a whopping 18 of 20 big openings in front of goal, and they have a 30.77% conversion rate in this regard.
Of all these clear-cut misses, Zlatan is responsible for 9, Pogba has squandered 3, Rashford and Rooney have both failed to score 2 each, while Mata and Lingard have wasted 1 apiece.
The average pass accuracy (86%) is superb, 55% of the possession isn’t poor, and neither is a shot accuracy of 47%, so United aren’t actually doing bad when it comes to playing well and giving their best in the buildup to the chances, but converting and bagging the goals are the biggest issues that must be addressed pronto.
Nobody wins the title with such problems, even a top 4 finish will be very hard to come by with such a woeful form in front of goal as theirs. Just maybe they will get it right with quality arrivals come winter. They are in bad need of many.
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