Defeat at Anfield is calamitous for any Manchester United side, but for Jose Mourinho and his current team, Sunday’s display against Liverpool signaled a new low.
The Portuguese boss will no doubt have his own answers, but it will be hard for him to explain away any of the damning stats to emerge following their dismal performance.
For starters, the 3-1 loss, courtesy of Xherdan Shaqiri’s two second-half strikes, has left United 19 points behind their fiercest rivals after just 17 league matches, a margin which the Reds have never previously enjoyed in the top flight.
The crux of their troubles has laid with their defence, and the numbers do not make pleasant reading. The third and final goal on Sunday evening was the 29th they have conceded so far during the current campaign.
That’s one more than they conceded in the entirety of the previous season. Not only that, but it is the highest amount of strikes they have conceded in the top flight since 1962-63.
Of course, goals will flow when your defence is as inviting as United’s was on Merseyside. Liverpool mustered 36 shots, 30 more than their visitors managed. Not since records of stats began in the Premier League, in 2003, have Manchester United allowed an opponents as many attempts on their goal.
The result leaves Mourinho and his side on 26 points, 11 points behind Chelsea in fourth. It is the club’s worst haul after 17 matches since taking the same amount from their first 17 matches under Sir Alex Ferguson in 1990.
The Scot, with time, was able to turn it around. The will to afford Mourinho the same opportunity appears to be evaporating with every passing game.