x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Consistency of Berbatov's shooting is paying off

Dimitar Berbatov has proved to be lethal with his shooting, with 44 of his 88 shots in the Premier League this season, being on target, leading to 19 goals

Dimitar Berbatov's five goals in two games for Manchester United have put him way out in front at the head of the Premier League's top-scorers list.

The Bulgarian has 19 goals this season and is just two off his tally for the previous two seasons combined. He has stepped up to the plate in the goal-scoring stakes, and he needed to given Wayne Rooney's sparse contribution of two. Technique, rather than pace, plays a big part in Berbatov's game and at times his relaxed style can make him appear disinterested.

But statistics demonstrate the striker's efficiency when he has the ball - of the 88 shots he has taken this season exactly half were on target. Of those 44, 20 were goals in all competitions.

Rooney, who netted 26 league goals last season, is certainly in a rut, but he is still contributing to the team. The England striker is United's joint top goal-maker with nine assists, along with Nani, the Portuguese winger.

Traditionally when Rooney's goal tally goes down, the assists go up. Last season, Rooney made just three assists to go with his 26 goals. In 2007/08, however, he scored 12 and set up 13.

So when pundits talk about Rooney's goal drought, they should take into account his creativity.