Season Review: Manchester United blew away their rivals in the league

With the football season coming to an end, Goal looks back at how the big European clubs fared this term. In this edition we look at Manchester United's campaign..
By Brendon Netto

This Season's Stats
                  Premier League: 1st
Champions League: Round of 16
FA Cup: Sixth round
Capital One Cup: Fourth round (eliminated)
Games: 54
Won: 36
Lost: 10
Drawn: 8
Win %: 66.66%
GF: 114
GA: 65
GF ratio: 2.11
GA ratio: 1.20

Premier League

After losing the title to Manchester City in the dying seconds of the previous campaign, Manchester United couldn't have come up with a more emphatic response this time around. Their ability to score goals and fight back in games was testament to their determination to reclaim their Premier League crown. They got their noses in front of City in late November and not only kept them at bay for the rest of the season but pulled away from them entirely.

The Red Devils won the league with four games to spare and ended up with a 11 point advantage over their rivals. Having scored a whopping 86 goals in the process with so many goal scorers, it was a hugely entertaining season for the United faithful. Being Sir Alex Ferguson's last season in football, their triumph was a fitting way to send off the legendary manager.


FA Cup

United's FA Cup campaign got off to a dramatic start when Robin van Persie came off the bench to score an injury time equalizer at Upton Park. The ball from Ryan Giggs was exquisite and was finished expertly by the Dutchman to force a replay against West Ham United back at Old Trafford where they won 1-0.

After comfortable wins over Fulham and Reading, they could only manage a replay against Chelsea who came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Old Trafford. A narrow 1-0 defeat to the Blues at Stamford Bridge saw United eliminated from the competition, thus prolonging their FA Cup drought.


Capital One Cup

United normally give their youngsters and fringe players game time in the League Cup and it was no difference this season. They secured a 2-1 win over Newcastle United at Old Trafford in the first round but were eliminated at the hands of Chelsea in dramatic fashion.

The Blues ran out winners in a 5-4 result at the end of extra-time thereby exacting revenge just days after United beat them in the league to go top of the table. It was a disappointing tournament for United but one that they never really invested in as they fielded a weakened side against Chelsea.


Champions League

After failing to get past the group stages last season, United weren't about to make the same mistake this time around. They won their first 4 games in their group and ensured qualification with 2 games to spare. They weren't the most convincing at the time as they continued to look vulnerable at the back but they got the job done.

United put up a spirited display away to Real Madrid in the round of 16 and came away with a 1-1 result which could have been better if Van Persie took his chances or worse if De Gea wasn't in top form. United were cruising with a 1-0 lead back at Old Trafford before Nani was controversially sent off and Madrid were able to comeback to win 2-1 and progress to the next round. It was a cruel end to United's European campaign.


Top 3 Players

Michael Carrick Robin van Persie David de Gea
Many questioned how United could  cope with the Paul Scholes' age catching up and Michael Carrick was the answer this season. The midfielder was incredibly consistent and bossed the middle of the park for the Reds. He was the best central midfielder in the league and fully deserved his PFA nomination. There were more than a few raised eyebrows when United splurged on Van Persie last summer but the Dutchman proved to be worth every penny. He effectively gave United the edge over City and retained the Golden Boot in the process. His goals accounted for a massive 26 of United's points tally and delivered when the team needed him the most. David de Gea has endured his fair share of criticism but his sensational form this season was the perfect response. The Spaniard kept his side in games with some exceptional saves. His finest moment probably came in the Champions League at the Santiago Bernabeu where he thwarted Real Madrid's attack time and again.
Games: 46
Goals: 2
Assists: 6
Games: 48
Goals: 30
Assists: 8
Games: 41
Goals Conceded: 42
Clean Sheets: 12

Top 5 Matches

1. 3-2 away win vs Manchester City 9 December 2012:

2. 4-3 home win vs Newcastle United 26 December 2012:

3. 1-1 away draw vs Real Madrid 13 February 2013:

4. 3-2 away win vs Southampton 2 September 2012:

5. 3-0 home win vs Aston Villa 22 April 2013:

Interesting Facts

  • Robin van Persie won the Premier League Golden Boot with 26 goals but also struck the post 7 times, more than anyone else in the league.
  • Ryan Giggs now has as many league titles as Arsenal.
  • United won 29 points from a losing positions this season which is a new Premier League record. Sir Bobby Robson's Newcastle United managed 24 points in the 2001-02 season.
  • United had the best pass success rate than any other team in the league this season (85.7%)


Berchman Mathews:

"I had my doubts about United winning back the title this season especially after missing out on big names like Eden Hazard and Lucas Moura. Signing Van Persie was like acquiring the final piece of the puzzle.

Inspite of defensive frailties, United's "never say die" attitude steered them to victory in numerous games. Consistency was key and while United are probably the best in England, there's some way to go before they can conquer Europe."

How have Manchester United fared this season? Leave your comments below or discuss with the writer on Twitter @BrendonNetto.

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