Manchester United stats: A look at the Red Devils’ woeful second-half form in recent fixtures

Ever since their Europa League exit against Sevilla, Manchester United simply has not been what they were in the beginning of the year. Erik Ten Haag’s men seemed set to finish third in the Premier League and maybe even challenge for second place. However, in their last five matches in the league, the Red Devils have won only two, drawn once and lost twice. Currently, they are fourth in the league, two points behind Newcastle United and a point ahead of Liverpool who have played one game more. There are several reasons for this downfall. Firstly, it is Ten Haag’s first season at the club so the players might not all be completely used to the Dutchman’s coaching style yet. Secondly, with their extensive fixture list, United have been playing tirelessly since the start of the new year.

While the men in red usually have started all their games in a positive fashion, their recent performances in the second half has been a major cause for concern. The red devils have scored only once in their last five Premier League matches in the second half, failing to take their chances and defend their goal. The loss of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez is certainly a huge blow to the team but that is no reason to be lacking in attack. Since Marcus Rashford’s injury, he has not been the same player he was earlier this season. The likes of Antony, Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial and Wout Weghorst have all been misfiring as well. Defensive lapses, goalkeeper errors, poor passing and lack of intensity, that is what has been going on on the pitch especially in the second half of matches for United.

Here is a look at how the red devils performed in the second half of their last five Premier League matches

West Ham United (May 7)

Most recently, United took on West Ham United at the London Stadium where despite starting the match positively, David Moyes’ men took control in the first half and never let go. An inexcusable David De Gea error put the hosts 1-0 up in the 27th minute. However, there was something different. Unlike earlier matches, it did not feel like United could make a comeback in this instance and indeed, they couldn’t. The Red Devils’ second half performance was tremendously under par as out of the 19 shots, they could only get four on target.

Brighton and Hove Albion (May 4)

This one was heartbreaking for United fans. Luke Shaw handled the ball from a set piece in second-half stoppage time to hand Brighton a penalty which Alexis Mac Allister put away for a famous 1-0 victory for the seagulls at the Amex Stadium. The problem does not lie with Shaw’s accidental hand ball. The problem lies with United’s inability to create and finish chances. The lack of a prolific number 9 has immeasurably hurt them this year and the likes of Martial and Weghorst are simply not good enough. They only got five out of 16 shots on target and were poor in the second half again.

Aston Villa (April 30)

While this won was a 1-0 victory for United, it was too nervy a performance at home against a side eighth in the Premier League this season. Bruno Fernandes got the only goal of the match on 39 minutes. Going by the run of play, United should have scored a lot more goals than they had and once again, the creativity and finesse were hopelessly lacking in the second half.

Tottenham Hotspurs (April 28)

This one was an absolute shocker. After going 2-0 up against a mediocre Spurs side, Manchester United threw three points thanks to a horrendous second half performance at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford scored in the first half which saw United go 2-0 up and it felt like fans were in for a thrashing. However, the hosts completely turned it around in the second half with goals from Pedro Porro and Son Heung-min to make it 2-2. Another goalless second half performance filled with defensive errors and frailties.

Nottingham Forrest (April 16)

United’s 2-0 win over Forrest earlier this month is the only time in the last five matches where they have managed to score in the second half. Goals from Antony (32 mins) and Diogo Dalot (76 mins) saw the Red Devils to a comfortable win away from home.

Manchester United second half stats: Last five matches

OpponentGoals for (2nd half)Goals against (2nd half)Match result
West Ham United001-0 (L)
Brighton and Hove Albion011-0 (L)
Aston Villa001-0 (W)
Tottenham Hotspurs022-2
Nottingham Forrest102-0 (W)

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