Having looked at the impact of Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure on the goalscoring of other players in the squad, and seeing the positive effect, I thought it would be interesting to compare like for like fixtures. The press wrote us off in the summer (but they did tip Liverpool to win the title, so we shouldn’t be too offended, and instead, comfort ourselves with the knowledge journos know fuck all, it seems) and our own fans have been grumbling about the performances and results, but how justified are the complaints?

Wigan vs United
08/09: 1-2 (Tevez, Carrick)
09/10: 0-5 (Rooney x 2, Berbatov, Owen, Nani)

United vs Arsenal
08/09: 0-0
09/10: 2-1 (Rooney, Diaby og)

Spurs vs United
08/09: 0-0
09/10: 1-3 (Giggs, Anderson, Rooney)

United vs City
08/09: 2-0 (Tevez, Ronaldo)
09/10: 4-3 (Rooney, Fletcher x 2, Owen)

Stoke vs United
08/09: 0-1 (Tevez)
09/10: 0-2 (Berbatov, O’Shea)

United vs Sunderland
08/09: 1-0 (Vidic)
09/10: 2-2 (Berbatov, A Ferdinand og)

United vs Bolton
08/09: 2-0 (Ronaldo, Rooney)
09/10: 2-1 (Knight og, Valencia)

Liverpool vs United
08/09: 2-1 (Tevez)
09/10: 2-0

United vs Blackburn
08/09: 2-1 (Ronaldo, Rooney)
09/10: 2-0 (Berbatov, Rooney)

Chelsea vs United
08/09: 1-1 (Park)
09/10: 1-0

United vs Everton
08/09: 1-0 (Ronaldo)
09/10: 3-0 (Fletcher, Carrick, Valencia)

08/09: Tevez (4), Ronaldo (4), Rooney (2), Carrick (1), Park (1), Vidic (1)
09/10: Rooney (6), Berbatov (4), Fletcher, (3), Owen (2), Valencia (2), Nani (1), Carrick (1), Anderson (1), Giggs (1), O’Shea (1)

Last season we’d had six different goalscorers in the corresponding fixtures to this season, where we’ve had ten different goalscorers.

Completely randomly, it just so happens that all but one of Tevez’s league goals were scored against the opponents we’ve already played this season. It is therefore fairly reassuring to see we have pretty much already replaced the goals he scored for us.

08/09: W7 D3 L1 GF13 GA5 GD8 Points: 24
09/10: W8 D1 L2 GF25 GA11 GD14 Points: 25

Of course, you can argue some teams are stronger/weaker than they were last season. You can argue the time of year the game is played can have an effect. It’s still interesting to see how we got in like for like games.

If you would rather look at the first 13 games of last season and compare them with this, regardless of the strength of opposition, it looks something like this…

08/09: W7 D4 L2 GF25 GA10 GD15 Points: 25
09/10: W9 D1 L3 GF26 GA12 GD14 Points: 28

To give us some perspective on what was going around us, we should look at how our main title rivals were doing at this point last year, compared to this year.

Liverpool 08/09: W10 D2 L1 GF21 GA8 GD13 Points: 32 (+7 on United)
Chelsea 09/10: W11 D0 L2 GF33 GA8 GD25 Points: 33 (+5 on United)

Feeling any better yet?

Five Cantonas Manchester United santa hat

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