Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag applauds the fans after the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Picture date: Thursday May 25, 2023.

The crazy Premier League table from the second half of 2022-23: Man Utd 2nd, Chelsea 17th…

Only Manchester City took more points than Manchester United in the second half of the 2022-23 Premier League season.

Having ended the club’s trophy drought and qualified them for the Champions League, there’s yet more evidence that Erik ten Hag has Manchester United back on the right track to where they want to be.

Ten Hag’s Red Devils took more points than runners-up Arsenal over the last 19 matches of the season. Taking six points fewer than Pep Guardiola’s champions over the second half of the campaign suggests with further improvements in the squad that they might be able to challenge for the title next term.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa have sustained top four form for an entire half of a season under Unai Emery and the Spanish coach will have ambitions of the club maintaining that over his first full campaign at Villa Park next term.

Emery’s side have qualified for European competition, pipping Tottenham to the UEFA Conference League, and edging out Liverpool and Newcastle in the second half of the 2022-23 campaign.

Elsewhere, Brighton and Brentford maintained the solid top-half form from the first half of the season to secure strong finishes, sixth and ninth respectively.

Further down the table, it’s striking that only three sides – relegated trio Leicester, Southampton and Leeds – took fewer points than Chelsea over the last 19 matches of the season.

The Blues have endured their worst season in decades, despite boasting the most expensively-assembled squad in Europe, while their £291million January expenditure had the opposite of the desired effect – Chelsea actually had a considerably better record, picking up 26 points from the first 19 matches, than before they added big-money signings such as Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk to the squad.

Here’s how the table over the last 19 matches of the Premier League season stacks up. In brackets we’ve included how many more or fewer points each side recorded compared to their first 19 matches of 2022-23.

1. Manchester City – 44pts, GD +28 (-1)
2. Manchester United – 38pts, GD +8 (+1)
3. Arsenal – 37pts, GD +17 (-10)
4. Aston Villa – 36pts, GD +10 (+11)
5. Liverpool – 35pts, GD +14 (+3)
6. Newcastle – 33pts, GD +10 (-5)
7. Brentford – 30pts, GD +8 (+1)
8. Brighton – 29pts, GD +9 (+4)
9. Tottenham – 27pts, GD -3 (-6)
10. Wolves – 27pts, GD -9 (+13)
11. West Ham – 25pts, GD 0 (+10)
12. Bournemouth – 23pts, GD -11 (+7)
13. Crystal Palace – 22pts, GD 0 (-1)
14. Fulham – 21pts, GD -2 (-10)
15. Nottingham Forest – 21pts, GD -8 (+4)
16. Everton – 21pts, GD -9 (+6)
17. Chelsea – 18pts, GD -9 (-8)
18. Leicester – 17pts, GD -17 (=)
19. Southampton – 13pts, GD -13 (+1)
20. Leeds – 10pts, GD -10 (-11)

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