Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has admitted that his side’s goalless draw against PSV Eindhoven has left them with an uphill task to qualify from their Champions League group.
The Reds were dismal in a frustrating 0-0 draw at Old Trafford, a result that means Man United now have to win when they visit group leaders Wolfsburg in just under two week’s time. United had plenty of opportunities to put daylight between themselves and the Dutch champions but glaring misses from the likes of Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard meant they had to settle for a point at home.
It was the last thing the team needed, having finally seemed to have got over their poor run of goalscoring form after four goals in their last two Premier League games. A last minute winner against Watford on Saturday did not prove to be enough to galvanise the team and lead them to victory.
Speaking after the game, Smalling said: “We had more than enough chances to win this game. We’ve made it difficult for ourselves [to qualify].”
United finally seemed to have found their attacking groove in the first half as they produced chance after chance, only to be thwarted by an impressive display from PSV goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet. It looked as if it would just be a matter of when and not if United found a way past the stopper but as the game wore on, they actually looked less likely to find a winner.
The Reds started to get stretched and lumped the ball forward to Marouane Fellaini, rather than continue to fashion chances the way they had been in the first half. After Lingard missed the target from just over six yards out, it was clear it was not going to be United’s day and they will now want to put an insipid performance behind them before they travel to top of the table Leicester City on Saturday.