Fourth-place in the Premier League after five matches played. Not bad for a Manchester United side which some suggest is in crisis.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side’s win over Leicester at the weekend further highlighted the Jekyll and Hyde nature of this United team as they triumphed over impressive opponents to secure a vital win.
It could have gone worse, had James Maddison’s finishing been sharper then United might very well be staring at their fourth successive match without triumph. But the fact is United won.
While it might be argued that United were fortunate to win at the weekend the same logic can be twisted to suggest United would be second in the division had they not missed two of their four penalties so far this season.
No matter how you argue the minute details of the season so far United deserve credit for the defensive improvements which they have made, and there are three players largely to thank.
Marcus Rashford might have scored the decisive goal from the spot at the weekend, but David de Gea was equally to thank for ensuring the score line was so narrow.
Just moments before England international Rashford was hacked down in the box by Çağlar Söyüncü it took an impressive save from De Gea to deny Maddison from close range to keep it goalless. The save might not make it into one of the Spaniard’s viral save montages, but it was equally as important as his most spectacular stops to date.
Later in the half the 28-year-old was to thank again as he this time acrobatically tipped over Ben Chilwell’s dipping volley to keep the slender lead in tact. A contract offer is on the table from United for the Spanish shot-stopper to sign, and again he sent a reminder of just how good he really is.
That is perhaps just as crucial as the emphatic impact Harry Maguire has made at Old Trafford. While the English centre back has already set the standard for centre back at the club it has been the revival in form from De Gea which has been just as telling.
In fact, after just three home matches this season United already have the same amount of clean sheets at Old Trafford as they did for the whole of last season. Those fine margins are making a huge difference.
United’s reinforced central spine is also strengthened by steady support outwide. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has revolutionised the right side of the defence, while Ashley Young deserves more credit for the solid role he is playing on the left.
The two new summer signings have helped lift the United defence to a level which gives them a fighting chance at Champions League qualification, while the rejuvenated De Gea in net is capable of harvesting vital points all on his own.
United have been far from great this season and there can be no illusion that they still need plenty of change when the next two transfer windows come about.
However, with a newfound confidence in defence United will only get better and even if they are riding their luck at the moment, the early signs should give fans hope of a return to the top-four.