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Manchester United knew before their clash with Brighton & Hove Albion would make the 2021/22 season the club's worst since the inception of the Premier League in terms of points totals.
The performance from the team in an abject 4-0 loss showed exactly why this team has managed to accrue such a meagre total.
Erik ten Hag has been confirmed as the new manager from next season and while you could say the only way is up for this team after they reached a Premier League nadir, the Dutchman would have been concerned by so many aspects of the performance on the south coast on Saturday.
United could still make it to 61 points if they win on the final day of the campaign at Crystal Palace, although that would leave them short of some of the worst efforts put together over a 38-game campaign.
Here are the others that rival it…
2013/14 – 64 points
This season was always going to be a challenging one.
After the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes filled the vacant position at Old Trafford and took charge of the champions.
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However, Moyes missed out on a number of key transfer targets, ended up adding Marouane Fellaini in the summer and the team suffered badly, clearly lacking direction without the inspired leadership of Ferguson.
Moyes was sacked before the end of the season when it was confirmed United could not qualify for the Champions League, triggering a managerial merry-go-round the club is still stuck on.
2018/19 – 66 points
The infamous Jose Mourinho third season.
After finishing in second place the campaign before, there was an expectation that United would kick on to challenge for the Premier League. Instead, they disintegrated under the Portuguese.
A run of one win in six games in the top flight led to Mourinho's sacking in December, as United were handsomely beaten 3-1 by Liverpool. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stepped in to trigger a revival – including a spell of 32 points from an available 36 in the new year – but two points from their final five games left them in sixth.
2015/16 – 66 points
While Louis van Gaal did manage United to some impressive results, some of the football played by his teams was soporific for supporters.
The 2015-16 season was arguably the low point of the Dutchman's tenure, as his teams would frequently hold stagnant possession and rarely threaten the opposition goal. Home fans saw the team draw 0-0 on five occasions in the Premier League.
United only narrowly missed out on the Champions League – to Manchester City on goal difference – and did win the FA Cup, but it was clear Van Gaal was not the right fit and the club was quick to sound out Mourinho to take over the following season.
2019/20 – 66 points
Although the previous season did finish with a whimper for Solskjaer, there was some excitement about what he could do with a full pre-season and backing in the transfer market.
Eventually, it wasn't warranted.
United spent a world-record £80million for a defender on Harry Maguire, as well as £50million on Aaron Wan-Bissaka in a busy summer window. They also added Bruno Fernandes in the January market.
While Fernandes proved to be a success, the rest of the team failed to function with any kind of consistency. Their 66-point haul was enough for third and Champions League qualification, but the Red Devils were a massive 33 points behind title-winners Liverpool and 15 behind runners-up City.
- Manchester United FC
- Jose Mourinho
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
- Premier League
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