Four stats you need to know from Manchester United’s start to the season

Manchester United have bounced back from two depressing losses to start the season to rattle through four straight victories.

United have beaten Liverpool, Southampton, Leicester and Arsenal to move from 20th to 5th in the Premier League table, just three points off the top.

Manager Erik ten Hag deserves huge credit for the way he has turned this around, and so do his players.

The start to the season has thrown out a few interesting statistics from United’s perspective – here is a look at four you need to know…

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Jadon Sancho is the most efficient goalscorer in the Premier League

Jadon Sancho offered a hint of his efficiency in pre-season when he scored three goals, and he has been lethal when given opportunities this season so far.

Sancho has two goals against Liverpool and Leicester, from only four shots at goal.

FBRef record Sancho having a 0.5 conversion rate from his shots to goals, the joint highest figure in the Premier League.

This is matched only by Brentford’s Josh Da Silva and Leeds winger Luis Sinisterra. Manchester City’s Erling Haaland may be scoring for fun, but his conversion rate is lower than Sancho’s 0.36.

The conclusion here is that Manchester United need to give Sancho more goalscoring opportunities, and he needs to get into more situations to shoot.

Scott McTominay ranks 7th in the Premier League for tackles won

Scott McTominay has had a new lease of life of late under Erik ten Hag, starting the past four consecutive matches.

He has been key to helping United win back possession, winning more tackles than any Manchester United player.

McTominay has won 11 tackles, the seventh highest in the Premier League this season, per FBRef.

This is some turnaround, considering McTominay won zero tackles in Manchester United’s season opening defeat against Brighton, which led to him being dropped for the following game.

Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha leads the league in tackles won with 19 for the season so far.

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Cristiano Ronaldo is averaging more shots per 90 than any player

Cristiano Ronaldo has had a difficult start to the season, starting only one game and failing to score.

His desperation to get on the scoresheet when he does get onto the pitch has been clear, and isn’t anything unusual.

He leads the Premier League in shots per 90, averaging more than five shots (5.09) for his time on the pitch.

Erling Haaland is third with 4.68. The difference is that he has actually been scoring. Ronaldo needs to settle, and it won’t be long before he is back scoring goals too.

When he is on the pitch, the positives are that he does not let defenders rest. His constant desire to shoot means opponents cannot afford to give him time and space.

Manchester United have more yellow cards than any team

Erik ten Hag has already changed the identity of the Manchester United team. The side is playing a more aggressive defensive style, and this has been key to the recent winning run.

Through the first six games, Manchester United have picked up more yellow cards than any other team, with 20 in total. Nottingham Forest followed with 18.

In United’s case, this is a sign of a tougher, more resilient team which is no longer going to go down without a fight.

It has also shown that United’s players are being smarter, occasionally making tactical fouls, breaking up play where necessary, to prevent goalscoring chances.

Scott McTominay, referenced above for his successful tackles, leads the league in committed fouls with 19.

United have two clean sheets in the past three games, and have conceded only four in this span, a sign that a more focused and ruthless defensive approach is working.

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