For the first time in the post-Ferguson era, Manchester United look well on track to score 100 goals and play 60 matches, all in a single season. Jose Mourinho’s side played their 58th game of the season on Thursday night against Celta Vigo, and Marcus Rashford’s 67th-minute winner at Balaidos was Red Devils’ 99th goal of the season.
With potentially six matches left to play before the season ends and the Mancunians just one strike short of completing a century of goals for the season, United will end up crossing both 60 matches and 100 goals barrier for the first time in 6 seasons. The last time they did so was back in the 2010/11 season under Sir Alex Ferguson when they won the Premier League and Community Shield; reached the fifth round of the League Cup, semi-finals of the FA Cup and finished runners-up to Barcelona in the Champions League.
|Season||Matches Played||Goals Scored||Top Scorer|
|2010/11||60||114||Dimitar Berbatov (21)|
|2011/12||54||120||Wayne Rooney (34)|
|2012/13||54||114||Robin van Persie (30)|
|2013/14||55||94||Wayne Rooney (19)|
|2014/15||44||71||Wayne Rooney (14)|
|2015/16||59||87||Anthony Martial (17)|
|2016/17*||58||99||Zlatan Ibrahimovic (28)|
Since the legendary Scotsman left the hot seat at Old Trafford, United have struggled badly for goals. Ferguson’s last season at the helm saw the Red Devils score an enormous 114 goals in 54 matches at an average of 2.11 goals per game. Coincidentally, it was the last time England’s most successful club went on to lift the Premier League title. Note that since the 2013/14 season, the north-west giants have averaged well under two goals every game.
The goalscoring woes hit a new low under Louis van Gaal last season as Manchester United’s ‘boring football’ saw them net 87 goals in 59 matches at an average of 1.47 goals per match. A measly haul for the club’s long-standing tradition of playing football the ‘United way’ which emphasises on playing attacking and expansive brand of football.
The current campaign is much better on that front though as United are averaging 1.71 goals per game under Mourinho. However, one may point out that the average could have been much better had the Red Devils been more clinical in front of goal and subsequently, there’s still a massive scope of improvement in that regard.
Jose Mourinho has already won the League Cup and Community Shield in his first season in charge at Old Trafford and has also become the first manager in club history to win a major piece of silverware in his debut campaign. And if the Portuguese marshalls his side to a first Europa glory in Stockholm later this month, he could set yet another benchmark by making it two major titles within his first year of tenure.