Struggles of Manchester United and Chelsea in Comparison to Previous Premier League Seasons

    Manchester United and Chelsea’s terrible start to the Premier League season continued as they dropped points again this weekend.

    United beat Brighton 3-1 on Saturday to remain 13th in the table, while Chelsea, who lost to Bournemouth on Sunday, are one place lower – and only one ahead their unwinnable rivals.

    Here, the PA news agency looks at the two clubs’ records in their first five games.


    United have six points from their first five games this season while Chelsea have just five, in both cases equaling their second-worst record of the Premier League era.

    United took just five points at this stage in 2014–15 and six in 2004–05, ultimately finishing those seasons in fourth and third place respectively. They had seven in the 2013/14 and 2020/21 seasons.

    Chelsea’s five points match their total at this stage since the 1993–94 season, matching the club’s record in the early days of the Premier League – they had six points in both 1992–93 and 1995–96. like 2000-01.

    Since their initial big-money acquisition by Roman Abramovich in 2003, the only comparable season is 2015/16, when they followed up their title run from the previous season with just four points from their first five games. Jose Mourinho was sacked as manager in December of that year as the Blues eventually finished 10th.

    Even last season under Thomas Tuchel, on the way to 12th place under a revolving door of managers, Chelsea had seven points at this stage.

    Victories and defeats

    United lost three of their first five games for the first time in the Premier League era, with Brighton’s result following defeats to Tottenham and Arsenal.

    Erik ten Hag’s side lost two of their first five matches last season for the seventh time in the Premier League, but things are now looking even worse.

    They at least won their other two matches, beating Wolves 1-0 and Nottingham Forest 3-2, to avoid a repeat of the 2004-05 and 2014-15 seasons, when they won only one of the former five.

    Chelsea have only one win – over Luton. This is their sixth time in the Premier League and the first time since the 2015/16 season when they won just one of their first five. Mauricio Pochettino’s men have two defeats to their name, the same as last season and one less than their disastrous start to the 2015/16 season.


    Chelsea’s five goals are the fewest they have scored in their first five Premier League games since the 1995/96 season, matching that campaign and their lowest total of 1993/94. Raheem Sterling’s brace against Luton makes him the only player to have more than one on the scoresheet.

    United have scored six goals – just five times they have scored fewer at this stage, including five last season and a record low three in 2007-08 – but their bigger problem may lie at the other end.

    The 10 goals they have conceded – three each to Arsenal and Brighton and two each to Spurs and Forest – is their second-highest tally after five games.

    The only worse defensive start came in 2020/21, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side scored nine from their first five but conceded 12 to leave them with seven points. This included a 3–1 defeat to Crystal Palace and 6–1 Tottenham.

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