In what turned out to be his final season as a manager, Sir Alex Ferguson guided Manchester United to their 20th top flight English title.
Summer signing Robin van Persie turned out be a big part of United’s success – top scoring in the Premier League with 26 goals. Notable winners at Southampton, Liverpool and Manchester City in the first half of the season helped pull the Red Devils ahead of the competition.
Manchester United beat 18 of the 19 teams they faced, whilst Robin van Persie scored against 16 of these in a season that the rest of the field never came close to stopping.
Here is a full look at how the squad performed during the 2012-13 season:
After a tough first season in English footballer, David de Gea was battling with Anders Lindegaard at the start of the season for the number one spot.
Some poor dealing of corners by Lindegaard in a 4-3 victory over Reading on 1 December would be the last action for the Danish goalkeeper until May as de Gea firmly established himself as Ferguson’s first choice. At one point the Spaniard went on a run of keeping 8 clean sheets in 10 Premier League games.
Of goalkeepers to play at least half of their team’s games in the Premier League, only Petr Cech (77.22%) had a higher save percentage than David de Gea. At the other end of the scale, including all goalkeepers to appear, only Shay Given (33.33%) had a lower save percentage than Anders Lindegaard.
Manchester United had the equal fifth best defence in terms of goals conceded. After a leaky start to the season, the focus on the defence during the second half of the season showed – conceding just 15 goals in the final 19 fixtures, of which 5 of those were on the final game alone. 3 clean sheets were kept in the first half of the season, compared to 10 in the second half.
Patrice Evra led the team in tackles from left back, starting 34 league games. In the opposite full back position, Rafael made only 5 fewer tackles than the French left back. Michael Carrick, Antonio Valencia and Ryan Giggs complete the top 5.
Holding midfielder Michael Carrick came up with the most interceptions as one would expect in the position he plays. He ranked 18th overall in the Premier League. Full backs and Rafael and Patrice Evra did their jobs in winning back possession down the wings, whilst Jonny Evans and Rio Ferdinand did a good job intercepting passes down the middle of their defence.
Manchester United were the last team to pick up their first red card in the Premier League this season when Rafael was sent off in the 1-0 home loss by Chelsea in matchday 36. Only 7 teams picked up fewer yellow cards.
Antonio Valencia and Robin van Persie led the team in number of fouls, narrowly ahead of both Rafael and Patrice Evra.
Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney led the team with 7 yellow cards. Scholes, who received a yellow card in his final match ended his career on 97 Premier League yellow cards – two shy of matching Lee Bowyer and Kevin Davies’ at the top of the leaderboard. The now retired centre midfielder picked up his 7 yellow cards from just 20 fouls conceded all season.
Manchester United averaged the highest pass completion rate in the Premier League, at 85.7%. And only Arsenal, Manchester City and Swansea City completed more passes throughout the season.
Michael Carrick completed the highest number of passes – nearly twice as many as Patrice Evra who is second in the table. Only Mikel Arteta completed more passes all season than the centre midfielder for the 2012-13 Premier League champions.
Of players to complete at least 1,000 passes, Rio Ferdinand had the highest success rate at 90%. Paul Scholes was reliable once more in the centre of the pitch, completing 92% of his 856 attempts.
As well as being the club’s top goalscorer, Robin van Persie also created the most chances, leading in both open play and set piece chances created. And as well as being the club’s second top scorer, Wayne Rooney was also second in the list of setting up shots for team mates.
Antonio Valencia did well down the right wing whilst Ashley Young made the top 5 despite only starting 17 games.
Wayne Rooney saw a new role during the 2012-13 season, playing more deeper on the pitch and often in midfield as Robin van Persie took the role as the main striker. With his new responsibilities, Rooney led the team with 10 goal assists – the only United player to have double figures in both goals and assists this season. He was 2 assists behind league leader Juan Mata.
For all the chances he created, Robin van Persie recorded a total of 8 assists in his debut season at Old Trafford. Antonio Valencia down the right wing and Patrice Evra from left full back recorded 5 each.
Of players to attempt at least 10 crosses in the Premier League, right back Rafael came out with the highest success rate – completing 1 in every 4 attempts. Shortly behind him in the chart, but lining up in front of him on the pitch was right winger Antonio Valencia.
The league average cross success rate was 23%.
Manchester United led the league in goals scored – 11 more than their closest competitors Chelsea as the only team to average more than 2 goals per game. Only Everton, Norwich City and Chelsea prevented the Red Devils from finding the back of the net this season.
20 different players scored at least 1 league goal this season – a club record. Ashley Young had the most attempts on goal (27) of those who failed to score. Defenders Patrice Evra, Rafael, Jonny Evans, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand combined for 12 goals.
Javier Hernández had the best conversion rate amongst players to score at least 10 goals in the Premier League – converting 23% of his attempts on goal.
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