Louis van Gaal has presided over Manchester United’s most toothless Premier League season ever – and the stats back up those claims.
Tuesday night’s 3-1 win in the rearranged game against Bournemouth at Old Trafford took United’s goal tally for the campaign to just 49, nine fewer than the 58 they scored in 2004-05, when they finished third behind Chelsea and Arsenal.
In addition, their goals have come at a rate of just 1.29 a game, the lowest in the club’s Premier League history.
Anthony Martial is the leading scorer with 11 in the league with England skipper Wayne Rooney having managed just eight and Juan Mata two behind.
The news will come as no surprise to disgruntled fans who have bemoaned the club’s lack of attacking intent under Van Gaal this season.
However, the trend is simply a continuation of a decline which coincides with Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure at the end of the 2012-13 campaign.
The Scot’s last two seasons at the helm saw the club score a total of 175 – the three since he left have yielded the same number.
These latest figures are in stark contrast to those from their most prolific campaign in 1999-2000, when they found the back of the net on 97 occasions at an average of 2.55 goals per game as they lifted the title and beat Arsenal into second place by 18 points.
Indeed, it is only the third time in 28 seasons that United have failed to score 50 goals or more with the 45 they managed in 1988-89 at 1.18 per game the lowest of Ferguson’s then fledgling reign.
2015-16: Matches: 38 Goals: 49 Goals per game: 1.29
BEST PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON
1999-2000: Matches: 38 Goals: 97 Goals per game: 2.55
PREVIOUS WORST PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON
2004-05: Matches: 38 Goals: 58 goals per game: 1.53
LOWEST IN THE SIR ALEX FERGUSON ERA
1988-89: Matches: 38 Goals: 45 Goals per game: 1.18