The Astonishing Stats That Show How Much Manchester United Man Goes Missing Against ‘Big Six’ Opponents
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suffered the first domestic defeat of his Manchester United managerial career with a 2-0 loss to Arsenal at the Emirates this week.
For only the second time in the league since taking the reins at the club in mid-December, Manchester United failed to hit the back of the net.
A plethora of injuries has given £75 million signing Romelu Lukaku the opportunity to lead the attacking line, and the big Belgian forward has been going through a thick vein of form, with back-to-back braces in wins over Crystal Palace and Southampton, whilst also receiving kudos with the two goals in the Champions League comeback at Paris Saint-Germain.
The 25-year-old has gained plaudits for his stellar performances of late, not just for his vital strikes but for his overall play.
However, Lukaku’s absence at providing a potent threat against the Gunners in the latest gameweek has brought the striker’s woeful record against a ‘Big Six’ opponent once again to the fore.
The Big Six is made up of the teams competing in the upper echelons of the Premier League; Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United.
He has just one goal in 17 matches against the top six for Man Utd. The last time he created a goal was in the 2-1 win over Liverpool almost exactly a year ago at Old Trafford (March 10th 2018), and you have go slightly further back than that for his last goal, against Chelsea in another 2-1 home win.
Lukaku has played 5,627 minutes against a Big Six Opponent in the Premier League across spells at Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion, Everton, and United. That is across 75 games, from which there were 61 starts. With his meagre return of 16 goals, it means Lukaku has registered one per 352 mins (351.68).
A minute after being brought on at the Etihad in an eventual 3-1 defeat to Manchester City, Lukaku was fouled in the box, with Anthony Martial converting the resulting spot-kick.
So far this season, that’s his only goal involvement. Overall against the Big Six he has tallied up seven assists, and a cumulative 23 times he’s been involved in a goal. That’s 245 mins per goal involvement (244.65)
90mins against Tottenham Hotspur on 27th August 2018 at Old Trafford (0-3);
90mins against Chelsea (2-2) on Oct 20th 2018;
33mins against Man City in 3-1 loss on 11th November 2019. Went down for the penalty which Anthony Martial converter on 58 mins;
27mins in 2-2 draw with Arsenal on December 5th 2018;
90mins against Liverpool at Anfield in 3-1 loss on Dec 16th 2018;
17 mins in 1-0 win at Wembley over Spurs on Jan 13th 2019;
90mins in 0-0 draw against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Feb 24th 2019;
90mins in 2-0 loss to Arsenal on March 10th 2019.
Manchester United, on their quest for a top four position, still have to welcome both championship-pursuing Manchester City and Chelsea to the Theatre of Dreams before the season’s conclusion.
Red Devils everywhere will certainly be hoping that Lukaku manages to break his hoodoo and find the back of the net on at least one of those occasions to assert his credentials as a striker worthy of that gigantic pricetag, and complement that remarkable potency inflicted upon lesser opponents.