Danny Higginbotham has highlighted Manchester United’s main weaknesses under Jose Mourinho following their 1-1 draw with AFC Bournemouth last Saturday, pointing towards his former side’s ineptitude when it comes to finishing teams off at home.
Man United took the lead, generated 21 chances and received a penalty against Eddie Howe’s side but somehow failed to come away with three points.
Mourinho’s men remain in sixth spot for the 16th week in a row and sit three points behind fourth-placed Liverpool with a game in hand.
Higginbotham, writing in his column for The Sun, noted that United’s continued ineptitude in front of goal will cost them come May.
“Manchester United are struggling to finish teams off and that is costing them,” he said.
“United have scored only 39 goals so far, that is 14 less than Spurs and Manchester City, who are the next lowest scorers in the top six.
Saturday’s draw with Bournemouth reaffirmed the notion that United, under Mourinho, have been – for reasons that remain unknown – consigned to a miserable groundhog day existence of embarking on a promising winning run, enjoying strong results in Europe and away from home, only to then drop points and momentum with a galling draw against a lesser side at home.
United have drawn at home to Stoke City, Burnley, Arsenal, West Ham United, Liverpool, Hull and Bournemouth this season: in that time they have managed 139 shots (49 on target) and just five goals, dropping a total of 14 points in the process.
This is a malaise that refuses to go away, and it threatens to derail United’s season entirely. Mourinho will need to make it abundantly clear to his players that success will elude them if they continue to rely on Zlatan Ibrahimovic for goals. The likes of Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Wayne Rooney will need to replicate the Swede’s prolificacy over the next few weeks if they want to secure a top four finish.