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How Manchester United midfielder Fred’s barren run compares in Premier League

Tom White and Pete Fabianski, PA
·2-min read

Manchester United midfielder Fred finally ended a scoring drought stretching back over two years with his goal against Tottenham on Sunday after taking more than 70 shots in vain.

The Brazil international had not scored since September 2018’s 1-1 draw with Wolves – in the last 10 Premier League seasons, only one player had gone more attempts between goals.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how Fred’s barren run compares.

“Missing that feeling”

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Fred tweeted after the game that he had been “missing that feeling” following his overdue strike, and a look at the statistics shows why.

Using shot data for the last 10 top-flight seasons, his run of 73 shots without scoring – spread across 67 games and three seasons – is exceeded only by former Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen.

The Belgian’s goals against Swansea in March 2013 and Newcastle in August 2018 were separated by 81 unsuccessful attempts.

(PA graphic)
(PA graphic)

That is the most between two goals in that time period, though Burnley full-back Phil Bardsley has the chance to set a new mark should he improbably pop up with a goal before the end of the season – his last in the league came in December 2013 for Sunderland against Chelsea, since when he has attempted 94 shots shared between three clubs.

Fred’s drought lasted one shot longer than those of Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves and Bardsley’s team-mate Ben Mee, while Gareth Bale’s first spell at Tottenham saw him go 70 shots without a goal from January to September 2012.

Continuing trend

Leander Dendoncker, left, celebrates with Adama Traore after scoring against West Ham
Leander Dendoncker (left) and Adama Traore have both scored overdue goals recently (Nick Potts/PA)

Fred is not the first player this season to end a long scoreless run – indeed, Neves’ drought lasted until his penalty against Brighton on January 2, after which the Portugal international netted another four times before the end of February.

Aston Villa winger Trezeguet had taken the most Premier League shots this season without scoring, 29, until his brace against Fulham earlier this month.

Neves’ team-mates Leander Dendoncker and Adama Traore have since removed themselves from the top of that same list, having each had 27 attempts without success before scoring against West Ham and Fulham respectively this month.

That leaves the Cottagers’ own Frank Anguissa level with Burnley midfielder Josh Brownhill on 27 shots without a goal this season – with Fulham proving susceptible to breaking such streaks, Brownhill may be eyeing up May 8’s trip to Craven Cottage.

Anguissa has no such luck and remains without a Premier League goal in his career – his run of 48 shots ranks alongside Manchester City veteran Fernandinho and Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny and behind only Bardsley among ongoing scoreless streaks.