Manchester United: Taking Their Chances

Football is essentially about taking your chances and scoring goals. You can come up with as complex or simple tactics and strategies as you like, but one thing will always remain the same: the winner is the one who scores the most goals.

Manchester United have scored more goals than any other team this season. In fact, their 32 goals after 13 games in 7 more than the chasing pack; Chelsea and Fulham both on 25. Not only have Manchester United scored the most goals but they have taken the highest percentage of chances too. Perhaps no surprise with the league’s two top goalscorers from last season in their side.

Indeed both Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney are attempting the most shots for the Red Devils, although it is the Dutch striker who has got off to a better start to the season with 8 goals compared to the former Evertonian’s 2.

Manchester United score from every 1 in 5 shots they have taken in the Premier League this season. Their 20% conversion rate is a lot higher than both Fulham and West Bromwich Albion who are next on the list with 18%.

Fulham have had 10 different goalscorers already this season. Chris Baird leads the way with a 40% conversion rate, having scored 2 goals from just 5 shots on goal this season (excluding blocked shots).
Damien Duff (3 goals) 38%, Alexander Kacaniklic (2 goals) 33%, Mladen Petric (4 goals) 31 follow him, whilst the club’s top scorer Dimitar Berbatov has scored 5 goals from 25 shots (20% conversion rate).

West Brom have 5 players with at least 3 goals already this season. Shane Long leads the way with 5 goals, equating to a 24% conversion rate. Peter Odemwingie (4 goals) has converted 29% of his shots and Romelu Lukaku (4 goals) 22%.

The Belgian striker on loan from Chelsea is actually 10th in the Premier League for most shots on target. This despite only making 3 starts to date, yet to complete a full 90 minutes and having only played 416 minutes of Premier League football. His 4 goals are equal to his parent club’s loan striker, Fernando Torres, who has started every game, playing 1,104 minutes. Yet Torres has only had 12 shots on target, compared to Lukaku’s 14.

Javier Hernandez is a big part of why Manchester United top this table. The Mexican striker has scored with an impressive 38% of his shots this season; significantly higher than any other player with at least 5 league goals. Robin van Persie’s 21% conversion rate is narrowly above the club’s average, although Wayne Rooney is down at 8% currently having only scored twice from 25 attempts.

At the opposite end of the table, both Queens Park Rangers and Norwich City only find the net with 8% of their shots on goal. The Rs in particular are in need of goals as they continue to hunt for their first victory this season. Norwich have been defending extremely well of late, conceding just 2 goals in their last 6 league matches which has helped them on a 6-game unbeaten run to steer clear of the relegation zone.