Manchester United got their bid for a top-four Premier League finish back on track on Tuesday evening with a 2-0 victory over Brighton thanks to second-half strikes from Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes.
Having drawn their last three fixtures 1-1, the Red Devils finally found some much-needed fluency in front of goal against their south-coast opponents at Old Trafford.
In their 25 top-flight games this season, United have found the net on just 40 occasions. When you consider that the 13-time Premier League champions began the 2021/22 campaign with a 5-1 win over Leeds United, their goalscoring woes in recent times become even more apparent.
Statistics provided by Squawka and beIN Sports show that Portuguese playmaker Fernandes has been doing his best to create chances for his teammates. Unfortunately, those around him haven’t been able to convert those opportunities often on a regular basis.
The 27-year-old currently leads the way when it comes to chances created in the Premier League this season – and there’s quite the gap between himself and some of the competition’s most renowned creative forces.
You can check it out for yourself below.
Top 10 Premier League players ranked by chances created in 2021/22 so far
10. Andy Robertson | Liverpool – 36 chances (18 games)
9. Allan Saint-Maximin | Newcastle United – 37 chances (23 games)
8. Martin Ødegaard | Arsenal – 37 chances (20 games)
7. Bernardo Silva | Manchester City – 40 chances (24 games)
6. James Ward-Prowse | Southampton – 42 chances (22 games)
5. Raphinha | Leeds United – 42 chances (21 games)
4. Mohamed Salah | Liverpool – 43 chances (22 games)
3. Kevin De Bruyne | Manchester City – 44 chances (18 games)
2. Trent Alexander-Arnold | Liverpool – 64 chances (22 games)
1. Bruno Fernandes | Manchester United – 71 chances (24 games)
Only Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold is within reasonable striking distance of Fernandes in terms of chances created. Although the United man has played two games more than the Reds right-back, Fernandes still averages 2.95 opportunities per game compared to Alexander-Arnold’s 2.9.
Fernandes has fashioned considerably more chances than the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Mo Salah, something that – in theory – should see United in a far healthier position in the league table than they currently are.
Ronaldo’s goal against Brighton was only his ninth in the Premier League this season – and he is United’s top scorer. Next is Fernandes himself with eight. The next highest tally for an active player at the club is four, owned by Marcus Rashford.
Prior to finding the net against Brighton, Ronaldo reportedly took part in a marathon five-hour training session at the club’s training ground on Sunday. Extreme? Maybe, but it paid dividends on Tuesday evening.
United need all of their attacking options to be as sharp as possible in front of goal as we reach the business end of the season. The numbers show that Fernandes is more than capable of providing the chances, Rangnick’s men just need to be better at finishing them off.
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On the other side of Manchester – proving that money spent doesn’t always guarantee a return – City’s £100 million man Jack Grealish failed to crack the above top 10.
The former Aston Villa playmaker has managed to create just 34 chances this season, less than half of the amount engineered by Fernandes.
Man Utd go fourth (Via The Football Terrace)