Phil Neville: Manchester United have not taken their chances this season

by Leo Nieboer

Phil Neville has criticised Manchester United for their failure to take their chances in front of goal following his former side’s 1-1 draw with AFC Bournemouth last weekend.

Jose Mourinho’s men took the lead, created 21 chances and received a penalty in the second half against the Cherries but failed to secure a win that would have taken them to fifth spot.

And Neville, speaking after the game, made it clear that Man United will need to be more ruthless in front of goal to have any chance of finishing in the top four this season.

“It was just the same old story (against Bournemouth),” he said.

“They played well, they should have been three or four up at half-time. The sending off changed the game because it affected the rhythm of Manchester United and galvanised Bournemouth.

“You can’t create that many chances in a game, like they have in their previous six draws at home (and not score). That’s the reason they are in sixth position because they’re not ruthless enough at home.

“They’ve created chances but just not taken them. It must be a massive worry for Jose.”

Mourinho has had a galvanising influence at Old Trafford this season: that bond between manager and player has been re-established, with United moving further away from the languid system of last season and moving towards a more dynamic, forward thinking approach with every week that passes. The mood around the club is, without doubt, notably brighter than the gloom of last year.

But it was clear from my vantage point at Old Trafford on Saturday that, for all the improvements made by the Portuguese this season, supporters had a grim sense of foreboding – almost as if they knew, with 30 minutes left, that United weren’t going to find a winner. And Mourinho will know that his biggest job over the next few months is to rectify his side’s malaise in front of goal before they lose all hope of a top four finish.

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