With Fergie Time finally over for good, it feels appropriate that Manchester United's powers of recovery have never been as strong as they were this season. As Sir Alex Ferguson was fond of saying, they never make it easy for themselves, and United conceded the first goal 11 times before the turn of the year and 15 times overall. They have arguably not sailed this close to the wind since winning the Treble in 1999 but their bouncebackability meant that the champions won 29 points from losing positions, which is a new Premier League record, beating the 24 points set by Sir Bobby Robson's Newcastle side in the 2001-02 season.

Surprisingly, though, United do not lead the way when it comes to goals scored in the 90th minute. Along with Arsenal, Reading and Wigan, they made life difficult for match reporters five times, while Newcastle scored six goals in the 90th minute. Alan Pardew mainly has Papiss Cissé to thank for the late drama, the Senegal forward snatching last-minute winners against Fulham, Stoke and West Bromwich Albion. Robin van Persie also left it late three times this season although only two of his goals – the ones that earned United victories at Manchester City and Southampton – were as vital as Cissé's. The other was the second in a 2-0 win over West Brom.

With the minimum amount of fuss, Van Persie got it done and his effectiveness is emphasised by the 65 shots he hit on target, although that was not quite as many as Gareth Bale (73) or Luis Suárez (72). Suárez also hit the most shots off target (71), while Michu (54), Olivier Giroud (50), Cissé (45), Nikica Jelavic (41) and Andy Carroll (41) all troubled the fans behind the goal more than they worked the opposition goalkeeper. Of course, it is possible to read too much into that stat – after all, Michu scored 18 goals in the league for Swansea.

Michael Laudrup had less success with Itay Shechter, though. The Israel striker managed four shots in his 621 minutes on the pitch, a shot every 155.3 minutes. Cameron Jerome, meanwhile, had the worst shooting accuracy (21.7%), while the sadly departed Mario Balotelli had the worst shot conversion rate with one goal from 26 efforts (3.9%). As for Reading's Jason Roberts, he holds the dubious honour of being the striker to have played the most minutes (709) without scoring. At least Adam Le Fondre set a new record by scoring eight times as a substitute for the Royals.

Perhaps (this could be a pipe dream) Reading would have stayed up if they had Christian Benteke (it is a pipe dream). Who knows where Aston Villa might have ended up without the Belgian striker? He scored or assisted 49% of their goals, more than any other player for a single side – by contrast, United had 20 different scorers, a record in a Premier League season.

Arsenal's Lukas Podolski was the league's most substituted player, being taken off 23 times, while Everton's Leighton Baines was the only player to feature in every minute. His output was prodigious, too; Baines created 116 chances this season, 12 more than any other player. Mind you, what constitutes an assist is a grey area. West Ham's Matt Jarvis was the player who created the most chances (46) without actually making one that resulted in a goal. Yet is this a failing on his part or because of his team-mates' shortcomings? And is it really fair that Steven Gerrard heading a Jarvis cross into his own net doesn't count? Or that a Jarvis cross that was headed in by Carlton Cole should be ignored because of a slight deflection off César Azpilicueta?

However, as Opta explain here, an assist is only awarded for a final pass or cross that leads to a goal, so deflected passes, own goals and winning penalties or free-kicks are unfortunately out. It does mean, though, that Andy Carroll was awarded an assist for inadvertently blocking a clearance by Reading's goalkeeper Alex McCarthy into the path of Kevin Nolan on Sunday. Luckily Opta make sure to differentiate between total assists and intentional assists and Carroll's stroke of luck fell into the former category.

In any case, no one could quite match Juan Mata for assists. The midfielder managed 12 and Chelsea are undoubtedly well-stocked in that area. Eden Hazard created 11 goals, the same as Santi Cazorla made for Arsenal. In total only four players reached double figures for goals and assists: Mata (12 goals and 12 assists), Theo Walcott (14 goals and 10 assists), Cazorla (12 goals and 11 assists) and Wayne Rooney (12 goals and 10 assists).

It was a curious season for Tottenham. They ended up with 72 points, a total which would have been enough for them to finish second two years ago and the most any side not to finish in the top four has ever managed in the Premier League. At least they came top of one table: no side scored as many goals (16) from outside the area and Bale was the most prolific from long range with nine howitzers with that pearl of a left foot, although Norwich's Robert Snodgrass scored the most free-kicks (three). At the other end of the scale, Stoke managed a paltry one goal from outside the area.

Fouls, though: now we're talking Tony Pulis's kind of language. Overall Stoke committed 485 infringements, although Norwich's Grant Holt was the biggest individual sinner (82). They were followed by Sam Allardyce's West Ham and, somewhat strangely, Manchester City (470), while Arsenal had the most red cards (5), harking back to the days when Arsène Wenger did not see the incident. Yet while City received 62 yellow cards, Stoke picked up 78 and West Ham got 74. On an individual basis, Suárez, Matthew Lowton, Bradley Johnson and Craig Gardner each earned 10 yellow cards. Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin was booked nine times but also made the most tackles (146) and interceptions (139).

Schneiderlin also snuck into the top 10 for passes made (1,873) but he couldn't get near Mikel Arteta (2,517 passes completed), Michael Carrick (2,443 passes completed) and Yaya Touré (2,246 passes completed). Arsenal were the team with the most touches (29,869) and most passes completed (18,075), while it was no surprise to see three Swansea players, Jonathan De Guzman, Leon Britton and Ashley Williams, in the top 10 for passes completed. Williams was kept busy off the ball, too, the defender making 52 blocks.

Although there were 35 goalless draws there were also 47 own goals, which is the highest total in any Premier League season. Southampton's Jos Hooiveld was a particular villain, scoring three, and he was followed closely by Nathan Baker, Gareth McAuley and Jonathan Walters, who all scored two (Walters' pair coming in one afternoon, against Chelsea in January). In addition to the signing of Van Persie, United also managed to hold on to the services of Own Goal. He scored six times for the champions.

West Ham's Jussi Jaaskelainen had to make the most saves (164) but also kept 11 clean sheets, while Manchester City's Joe Hart was the safest goalkeeper in the league with 18 clean sheets. Or was he? Hart also made five errors that directly led to him conceding, although he was left in the shade by Wigan's Ali al-Habsi, who goofed seven times. Wigan's Maynor Figueroa also gave away three penalties, more than any other player. If you were wondering why Wigan went down, then wonder no more.