LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Of the top eight finishers from last season, Manchester United have collected the most points in the English Premier League since November 8.
In the past five games since the Nov. 8 fixtures, Louis van Gaal’s side has grabbed a maximum 15 points, on its way to improving from being 10th on Nov. 7 to third, following their fifth successive victory on Monday night.
Since losing 1-0 at holders Manchester City on Nov. 2, Manchester United have picked up wins over Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Hull City, Stoke City and Southampton during the five match winning streak.
On Monday night at St. Mary’s Stadium, Robin van Persie scored twice with only two shots for the Red Devils to escape with what manager Van Gaal described as a “lucky win.”
“We were the lucky team this evening,” the boss told Sky Sports after the win. “You have to improve the performance, train to work hard and that’s it.”
The Dutch coach added: “We lost the ball too easily in the first half. The only chances Southampton created were when we lost the ball.
“That was not good in spite of our good result because we got a present also from Southampton.
“In the second half we were better. But I think Southampton played better than Manchester United yet we were the lucky guys.”
Defending champions Manchester City have collected 13 points from their last five outings to move from third place to second since the Nov. 8 fixtures, while EPL leaders Chelsea have picked up 10 points, but their pole position hasn’t been affected.
Meanwhile, Southampton have only picked up four points in its last five games.
The Saints have lost to Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United in their last three games to drop from second to fifth in the table standings.
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman told Sky Sports after Monday night’s home defeat that the Saints are failing to make their opponents pay for their mistakes and it is hurting them because they get punished for theirs.
“We played attacking football and tried to press them. We deserved more but on this level the difference is detail in the game and how you handle it when opponents make mistakes.
“But we had more chances, played better and had more possession. I said to the lads we didn’t lose against United, we lost against ourselves.”
Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton were also amongst the top eight finishers from last season, who dropped in league positions since Nov. 8.