03/04/2008 07:02, Report by Ben Hibbs

Defence on for record

United's entertaining attacking football has won plenty of plaudits this season, but the Reds' impressive defensive record should not be overlooked or undervalued.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men are on course to record their leanest Premier League campaign in terms of goals conceded.

The Reds have conceded just 15 in the league this term and, amazingly, on just five occasions at Old Trafford - Manchester City (2), Everton, Derby, and this weekend's opponents at the Riverside, Middlesbrough.

It's a proud record that has been equally as influential as United's attacking exploits in firing the Reds to the top of the Premier League.

Chelsea should hang on to their record though, with just 15 goals conceded when they won the title in season 2004/05.

That topped Arsenal's previous Premier League record of conceding just 17 goals in a league campaign.

United's best previous attempt came in season 1997/98, leaking 25 goals. With six games to go, the Reds will surely beat that tally, and it could be crucial if United are to retain the title.

Defensive misers

Wes Brown and Rio Ferdinand have been two key members in United's defence so far this season

Conceded in a season
Chelsea 15 04/05
Arsenal 17 98/99
Chelsea 22 05/06

United's previous best
25 in 97/98
26 in 04/05
27 in 06/07


Premier League