Manchester United have earned plaudits for their run of six successive league victories, but this key statistic could highlight a hidden pitfall.
After six consecutive wins, Manchester United are third in the Premier League and trail leaders Chelsea by just eight points.
Nonetheless, the following statistic will concern the Old Trafford faithful - the club's current run of six successive wins has seen them face 29 shots on target, four more than they have managed themselves.
29 - Man Utd's current run of six successive wins has seen them face 29 shots on target, four more than they've had themselves. Margins.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 17, 2014
Obviously positives can be drawn from this statistic. For one thing, the Red Devils have evidently been far more clinical than their Premier League opponents.
For example, from kick-off in the Red Devils' win against Southampton, up until Juan Mata's second of the afternoon against Liverpool, the club had managed just five shots, and yet they were still able to score four goals.
|Match||Total Scoring Att||Opp Total Scoring Att||Goals||Opp Goals|
|Man Utd||Southampton vs Man Utd||3||15||2||1|
|Man Utd||Man Utd vs Liverpool||11||19||3||0|
|Man Utd||Man Utd vs Stoke||10||5||2||1|
|Man Utd||Man Utd vs Hull City||15||4||3||0|
|Man Utd||Arsenal vs Man Utd||12||23||2||1|
|Man Utd||Man Utd vs C. Palace||23||6||1||0|
Nonetheless, for those pessimists among us, these figures also suggest two major deficiencies. Either the club are still having problems coping defensively or the attacking players simply aren't creating enough goal scoring opportunities in the final third.
As the graph below, courtesy of Squawka.com, suggests, it is in fact the Red Devils' chance creation that has taken a significant hit - a worrying revelation for Louis van Gaal's side.
This deficiency has fallen hand-in-hand with the absence of £59.7 million summer signing Angel Di Maria. The former Real Madrid winger pulled up early in his side's win over Hull City several weeks ago with a hamstring problem that saw him miss clashes with Stoke, Southampton and Liverpool.
It is this period in which the Red Devils' chance creation statistics have been at its lowest, at least since the disappointing opening weeks of the season.
Thankfully for Manchester United fans, the Argentine star is back training with the first team ahead of Saturday's match against Aston Villa. Louis van Gaal will be looking to make it seven wins on the bounce and the return of his club's record signing will certainly provide a boost.