Manchester United has been known for its fast starts, not only during Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign. Even in their recent unsuccessful seasons, the Red Devils could always rely on an explosive offense to rack up goals.
In the 2021-2022 season, they began with a 5-1 victory over Leeds. The season before that, despite losing the opening match to Crystal Palace, they defeated Brighton 3-2 in their first away game. In the 2019-2020 season, they crushed Chelsea 4-0 right from the opening day. In Jose Mourinho’s first season, they scored five goals in their first two matches. In his second season, that number rose to eight.
However, in both seasons under Erik ten Hag’s leadership, they have managed only one goal in their first two matches. After a hard-fought 1-0 win against Wolves, Man United failed to score in a 0-2 defeat to Tottenham, a familiar feeling from the way they started ten Hag’s first season, with a home loss to Brighton followed by a 0-4 thrashing by Brentford.
United managed to turn their poor start around with a win over Liverpool in the third match of the previous season, and they at least have a relatively easy fixture coming up at home against Nottingham Forest. But despite eventually finishing third, they scored only 58 goals, at least 10 fewer than any other top-six team and on par with Brentford, who finished ninth.
Scoring scarcity is something ten Hag aims to address in the summer, but despite spending over £165 million ($209 million) on new recruits, Man United still seems lightweight in attack…