Monday 20 May 2019

'There's such a gulf in class' - Ferdinand and Scholes give blunt assessment of Man United after defeat to Juventus

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho walks to the dressing romm at half time in the Champions League group H football match between Manchester United and Juventus at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 23, 2018. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho walks to the dressing romm at half time in the Champions League group H football match between Manchester United and Juventus at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 23, 2018. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United legends Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand lambasted Jose Mourinho's side after the 1-0 defeat to Juventus in the Champions League at Old Trafford.

After an encouraging second half display so nearly produced a morale boosting victory in Saturday's 2-2 draw against Chelsea in the Premier League, United turned in a sluggish first half performance that left Scholes and Ferdinand exasperated.

The pressure will now be piled back onto manager Jose Mourinho after this latest lacklustre performance, with Scholes suggesting United are no longer a match for the best side's in European football.

"Juventus have outclassed United in every area of the pitch," Scholes told BT Sport. "I give Juventus credit for an away performance in Europe coming to a big club...not probably big team, as big as it was, but what they have done is fantastic.

"They have been composed in possession, centre-halves coming out with the ball. This crowd are willing to really get behind them, but they gave them nothing.

"There is such a gulf in class. When United are on the ball, they look nervous, they look tentative. You wonder is Mourinho happy with that. You have to think maybe he is, maybe that's the way he goes about the game, but when you watch that you feel a little bit embarrassed.

"They were a class above technically and tactically and the sad thing was there was a bit of acceptance about it. There doesn't seem to be an improvement in performance into his (Mourinho's) third year as manager and United are going to have to improve massively to get anywhere near teams like Juventus."

Ferdinand was equally disheartened by United's display, as he suggested the lack of urgency from Mourinho's side surprised him.

"It's very similar to the last two games in so much as they are a goal behind, they haven't come out of the blocks at all," he stated. "We asked for a fast start, which you would expect under the lights here in the Champions League and they did everything but that.

"It was a very conservative, lethargic first half from this Manchester United team. And the experience and shape of this Juventus team have caused endless amount of problems.

"There is no cohesion, no options on the ball. That it was like the whole first half. When United given the ball away, they are pressing to get it back. That's the modern game.

"If you were having to describe this game, you would say men against boys. Juventus were superior in every aspect of the game. They were well deserved winners."

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