The numbers behind Manchester United’s worst start to a season for 30 years

Manchester United have made their worst start to a Premier League season after Monday night’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal at Old Trafford.

Here, the PA news agency examines the numbers behind United’s miserable start to the season and looks at how manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer compares to his predecessors.

Pressure points

Southampton v Manchester United – Premier League – St Mary’s
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has presided over Manchester United’s worst start to a Premier League season (Mark Kerton/PA)

The pressure has built on Solskjaer as United have taken only nine points from their first seven games – just enough for them to squeak in to the top half of the table. United have won only once since their opening 4-0 victory over Chelsea, with Marcus Rashford’s penalty earning them a 1-0 home win against Leicester.

Fall from grace

Jose Mourinho File Photo
Jose Mourinho was in charge when United equalled their best start to a Premier League season just two years ago (Martin Rickett/PA)

It is just two years since Jose Mourinho oversaw United’s joint-best start to a Premier League season. United claimed 19 points from their first seven games in 2017-18, equalling the starts made by Sir Alex Ferguson’s sides in 1999-2000 and 2011-12. United finished runners-up under Mourinho that season, but a whopping 19 points adrift of champions Manchester City.

Ole at the wheel

9 – Manchester United's haul of nine points from their opening seven league games is their lowest at this stage of a top-flight campaign since 1989-90 (7). Flat. #MUNARS

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 30, 2019

The figures make bleak reading for Solskjaer when comparing the Norwegian’s record with his predecessors. Mourinho – who would be sacked in December – made a poor start last season, but his 10-point haul from the first seven games was still one more than Solskjaer has managed 12 months on. David Moyes also took 10 points from his first seven games in the 2013-14 season, while Louis Van Gaal won 11 and 16 points in the respective 2014-15 and 2015-16 campaigns.

30-year low

Man Utd 1999 Legends v Bayern Munich Legends – Old Trafford
United have not started so badly since the early days of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign 30 years ago (Martin Rickett/PA)

The last time United made such a poor start to a campaign was under Ferguson in the days of the old First Division. United picked up only seven points from their first seven games of the 1989-90 season, a run which brought successive defeats to Derby, Norwich and Everton and ended with a famous 5-1 thrashing to Manchester City at Maine Road. United ended up 13th that season, but lifted the FA Cup as Ferguson won his first trophy in England.

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