Sunday 20 August 2017

'They've dropped points at home to all these stupid teams' - Gary Neville pins United's struggles on draws with 'lesser' teams

Jack O'Toole

Sky Sports football analyst Gary Neville has attributed Manchester United struggles this season to dropping points at home to 'stupid teams', as the former England defender analysed United's loss to Arsenal on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho's side were defeated 2-0 by the Gunners which delivered Mourinho his first loss to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and United's fourth loss of the league season.

Second-half goals from Granit Xhaka and Danny Welbeck ended an undefeated streak in the league that dated back to October of last year, where United were thrashed 4-0 by champions elect Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

However, Sunday's defeat to Arsenal still leaves the Red Devils with the joint best loss record in the league alongside Mauricio Pochettino's second placed Tottenham.

As Neville not-so-subtly highlighted on Sky Sports Monday Night Football, the problem with United this season has been the amount of draws they've accumulated against teams from the bottom half of the table, or as Neville referred to - the stupid teams.

"The games where they've dropped the most points have been at home to the lesser teams," said Neville.

"Bournemouth, Hull, Stoke, Burnley, West Brom... they've had about 25 shots in each of those games. Where they've dropped the most points, and where they've been disastrous has been at home, where they've dropped 10, 12 points to all these stupid teams."

Sunday's loss to Arsenal means United now sit four points behind City and five adrift of Liverpool, with only one game in hand over Jurgen Klopp's side, and a tricky trip to Tottenham to come next weekend.

It means their chances of sneaking into the top four, and the subsequent path to the Champions League that such a finish presents, now appear increasingly remote.

"It's impossible," Mourinho said. "For two reasons: I don't think the other ones, playing one match a week and being in a great situation, I don't think they are going to blow it.

"And because we go with everything on Thursday and we cannot go with everything against Tottenham. When you go with everything against Tottenham it's difficult. When you don't go with everything it's more difficult.

"Two days later Southampton, two days later Crystal Palace. This is too much for us so I don't think we have any chance of finishing top four in the Premier League.

"We have to chase Champions League by trying to win the Europa League."

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