Despite their 0-0 draw at Anfield last night, Man United remains at the summit of the Premier League but that result continues a worrying theme against fellow "Big Six" teams.
United is winless against Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City and Liverpool this season and they've scored just once in those five encounters. It's a curious record for a team that has been so brilliant on the road. They've struggled at home against their nearest rivals with a 1-6 defeat to Tottenham seeming to represent Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's rock-bottom at the club. Defeat against Arsenal, a first top-flight reverse against the Gunners at Old Trafford since 2006, meant that more storm clouds started to brew around the club.
Goalless draws against Man City and Chelsea at Old Trafford cannot be viewed as bad results, and perhaps it's a sign of the progress made by Solskjaer's side that they'll feel disappointed that they didn't beat champions Liverpool at fortress Anfield last night.
Another source of comfort for United fans is that meetings with four of the traditional Big Six in the second half of the season will be played away from home - and the Red Devils' away record in the league this term is almost perfect, with seven wins and two draws from their nine encounters on the road. They're top of the away table, but only 7th in the equivalent standings at home. It's clear where improvements need to be made.
United's talisman Bruno Fernandes has been a revelation since his arrival at the club. In the 2020-21 Premier League season alone, he's scored 11 goals & created seven more to neatly bring his direct goal contributions tally to 18 goals in 18 games. Strangely, however, the Portuguese playmaker has struggled to stamp his mark on the big games.
Bruno Fernandes against the Premier League's 'big six' in 2020-21:— Goal (@goal) January 18, 2021
🏃♂️ 6 matches
⚽️ 1 goal (a penalty)
🅰️ 0 assists
The penalty came in a 6-1 defeat to Tottenham 🙃 pic.twitter.com/95VFqNYfGF
United's noisy neighbours Manchester City can leapfrog the Red Devils into top spot if they beat Aston Villa on Wednesday night. Almost directly after the final whistle sounds at the Etihad, United will have an opportunity to reclaim top spot (should City claim three points in their game) when they face Fulham at Craven Cottage.
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