Man United big winners in ESPN Luck Index
Manchester United may have suffered a nightmare Premier League campaign last season, but according to the latest edition of ESPN's Luck Index, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were actually fortunate on several occasions and should have finished even lower than sixth.
United would have been four points worse off without their good fortune and ended the season in seventh place behind Everton, who were found to be the unluckiest side in the league last term.
- Marcotti: Findings from the 2019 ESPN Luck Index
Had Solskjaer's men finished seventh, they would have had to pull out of their International Champions Cup preseason tour, as the club would have had to play Europa League qualifiers instead.
United sacked Jose Mourinho in December and appointed club legend Solskjaer as his replacement, but both enjoyed good fortune, with the index showing no difference in luck between the two.
Last year's edition of the Luck Index showed that United were fortunate, too, and should have finished with six points fewer, as they were named the luckiest team of the 2017-18 Premier League campaign.
Champions Manchester City were found to be unlucky, with misfortune found to have cost them a record point total of 101 -- one better than the previous year.
This year's Luck Index also found that if you removed all of the fortunate goals from the player's scoring totals, City striker Sergio Aguero should have finished as the Golden Boot winner with 20 goals -- just one goal worse off.
Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who shared the Golden Boot with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, was found to be by far the luckiest of the top scorers. He scored 22 times, but eight of them were found to be lucky, meaning that his adjusted total amounted to a less impressive 14.
Salah and Mane both scored four lucky goals, and they would have finished joint second in the top-scorers list.
Liverpool's title chances were not affected by fortune with their post-Luck Index point total unwavering at 97.
The luckiest team were Brighton, who survived relegation by two points, sacking manager Chris Hughton at the end of the season.
Instead, newly promoted Fullham should have stayed up. Their misfortune cost them five points and Premier League survival.
Brighton were actually one of the unluckiest teams in the 2017-18 campaign, finishing six places lower than they should have.
The unluckiest team this time around were Everton, who finished ninth but should have actually made sixth, meaning they would have qualified for the Europa League.
The ESPN Luck Index uses adjustments for red cards, penalty decisions and disallowed and deflected goals, among a host of other factors, to calculate the luck involved in each Premier League campaign.