More celebrations than tackles: Manchester United’s lucky charm

Manchester United have made a blistering start to their 2017-18 Premier League campaign with 4-0 thrashings of West Ham and Swansea City, followed up by a 2-0 win over Leicester City this past weekend.

The results leave United as the only team with a 100% win record after three games, matched by a +10 goal difference, and they are yet to concede a single goal.

In fact, David de Gea has only been forced into five saves in his first 270 minutes of action this season.
United won’t want to get too carried away though as none of their opening three opponents are going to challenge for a top four place this season and West Ham themselves are still pointless.

José Mourinho’s side have particularly come good in the latter stages of games, scoring six of their 10 goals in the final 11 minutes. 40% of their goals have also been scored by substitutes and already they have had as many as half a dozen different goalscorers.

All this and they still have Zlatan Ibrahimović due back in the New Year.

Before the international break, Marouane Fellaini became that sixth player to score for the Red Devils this season when he diverted Marcus Rashford’s effort past Kasper Schmeichel shortly after entering the field as a substitute.

Indeed, the Belgian has featured as a substitute in all three games for Mourinho’s side this season. Fellaini has come on with scorelines of 2-0, 1-0 and 1-0 again this season – seemingly to help see the games out.

United were already 2-0 up against West Ham when he came on for Juan Mata in the final 14 minutes. Fellaini was then introduced for the final 15 minutes when United led 1-0 at Swansea a fortnight ago before finally being brought on for Henrikh Mkhitaryan with 16 minutes to go against Leicester at 1-0.

What this means is that Marouane Fellaini has played a total of 46 minutes in the Premier League this season and has been on the field to celebrate six times. That’s a goal every 7 minutes 40 seconds!

Fellaini has been involved in more goal celebrations than he has tackles so far this season! In fact, he’s even celebrated more goals than he has conceded free kicks. How long this incredible run of Fellaini’s will go on remains to be seen but for now it seems the Belgian international is a lucky charm…