x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

United creeping up on best start to a season record

What crisis? They are just two games short of equalling their best unbeaten start to a league season.

Crisis? What crisis at Manchester United this season?

Sir Alex Ferguson's team may have acquired an unwelcome habit for drawing games this campaign - though against Aston Villa at Villa Park on Saturday, they at least managed to rescue one rather than have one snatched from the jaws of victory - but they are just two games short of equalling their best unbeaten start to a league season.

The 13 games they have managed to go without defeat this term may not live long in the memory, they have been largely overshadowed by the Wayne Rooney contract saga and the continued protests against the Glazers, but United are proving a tough nut to crack.

The 2-2 draw with Aston Villa saw them eclipse the 12-match unbeaten run they enjoyed at the start of the 1991/92 season. They are now just two games shy of equalling the record 15-game unbeaten run they put together at the start of the 1985/86 season. Ironically, both of those sequences were ended at Hillsborough, the home ground of English third-tier side Sheffield Wednesday.

With Rooney poised to make his comeback this weekend against Wigan Athletic, who they beat 5-0 at home last season, followed by a home match against Blackburn Rovers and an away fixture at Blackpool, United could rewrite their own record books by the start of next month.

kaffleck@thenational.ae