The phrase ‘goals win games’ is a mantra that Manchester United and Chelsea have struggled to live up to this season.
A quick look at the Premier League table highlights how both teams have struggled to hit the back of the net consistently this season.
Man United’s tally of 49 league goals is the second lowest of any team in the top ten – only Aston Villa have scored fewer (46).
Chelsea’s scoring woes have been even worse, with only Wolverhampton Wanderers (30), Southampton (31) and Everton (32) scoring less than their total of 34.
An in-depth study by The Athletic highlights the scale of the problem both Man United and Chelsea must address this summer.
By using the probability measure of expected goals (xG), the research shows how wasteful the two teams have been this season.
Man United’s xG figure in the Premier League is 56.02, meaning they are seven goals adrift of where they should be based on the quality of chances created.
Only three teams have a bigger negative disparity in this metric – Everton, West Ham United and Chelsea.
The Blues’ difference of 9.45 goals is the worst xG difference in the Premier League – a hugely worryingly statistic for the club.
By contrast, Manchester City (+14.22) and Arsenal (+14.04) are making the most of the opportunities they create. Unsurprisingly, they are the top two teams in the Premier League table.
With four games remaining, Manchester United are on course to finish in the top four. They have won the Carabao Cup and are in the final of the FA Cup.
Regardless of what happens in the latter competition, the season will be deemed successful if the Red Devils qualify for the Champions League.
Chelsea will be unable to say the same, with a tenth-placed finish in the top flight the maximum they will likely achieve this term.
Ultimately, both clubs desperately need to address their goalscoring issues this summer if they are serious about challenging for the title in 2023/24.
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