International Soccer

The most ridiculous and alarming stats from Man Utd’s draw at Brentford

It’s always one step forward and two steps back with this Manchester United team.

Every time Erik ten Hag’s side looked to have turned a corner this season, they’ve found a way to undo their hard work.

Having beaten bitter rivals Liverpool 4-3 in the FA Cup prior to the international break, United’s latest setback came on Saturday night with a 1-1 draw at Brentford.

And let’s be honest with ourselves – despite taking the lead in the 96th minute, United were incredibly lucky to have even taken a point. The Bees were the dominant side from start to finish at the Gtech Community Stadium and it would have been an injustice if they had not taken anything from the game.

The numbers – both from this game and in a wider context – do not make for pretty viewing from a United perspective.

Ivan Toney

Toney couldn’t find the net with nine shots of his own / Clive Rose/GettyImages

You won’t believe this guys, but United gave up a whacky number of shots on Saturday. Shocking, I know.

On this occasion, the Red Devils allowed Brentford to take 31 attempts. Thirty-one. United mustered only 11 of their own. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that’s not good.

Rasmus Hojlund, Vitaly Janelt, Mathias Zanka Jorgensen

Hojlund barely threatened / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

The figures for xG vary from model to model, though they often paint a pretty clear and cohesive picture of the chance quality from a given game.

In this instance, Opta stats had the xG battle down at 2.6 to 0.5 in Brentford’s favour, while FotMob’s data came out with a result of 3.3 to 0.6.

You get the idea.

Brentford FC v Manchester United - Premier League

Wissa was involved plenty / MB Media/GettyImages

Brentford set a new Premier League season-high for touches in the opposition penalty area, coming up with 85 in the United box on Saturday. In fact, it was the highest number recorded by Opta in the last three seasons.

For comparison, United manage only 16 in the Bees’ box.

Andre Onana

It’s been a busy month for Onana / Clive Rose/GettyImages

27 away at Manchester City. 23 at home to Everton. 25 across 120 minutes against Liverpool. But worst of all, the 31 at Brentford.

United just love to gift their opposition a sight of goal. It’s a far cry from the streetwise side of last season.


Seems a high figure / JUSTIN TALLIS/GettyImages

No side has faced more shots in the Premier League this calendar year than United. Not even the relegation battlers. Good heavens.

Brentford FC v Manchester United - Premier League

Man Utd have been poor in both boxes / MB Media/GettyImages

Having played 29 Premier League games this season heading into the month of April, United’s goal difference remains at a neutral zero. Even Chelsea in 11th have a positive goal difference, for crying out loud.

Marcus Rashford

Rashford’s been off the boil / Clive Rose/GettyImages

No team in the top half of the Premier League table has scored fewer than United’s tally of 40 goals this season.

The only sides who rank worse than the Red Devils are Nottingham Forest (36), Crystal Palace (34), Burnley (31), Everton (30) and Sheffield United (27). Even Luton (43) are more prolific than United, for crying out loud.

Erik ten Hag

Man Utd face an uphill battle to qualify for the Champions League / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Finishing in the top five should mean enough to secure Champions League qualification, and yet that prospect seems to be disappearing over the horizon for United.

Aston Villa sit 11 points clear of United in fourth (though have played one game more), while Tottenham are fifth and eight ahead of Ten Hag’s charges. Many tipped United to replicate a top-three finish from last season, but those predictions feel an age ago now.


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