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Gary Neville: “It could have been six, seven or eight and Burnley wouldn’t have had any complaints”

Jose Mourinho

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville believes United endured a frustrating day on Saturday against Burnley, after United were held to a goalless draw at Old Trafford.

Neville told Sky Sports that Burnley could not have complained had United scored “six, seven or eight” goals, such was their dominance on Saturday.

United seemed to do everything but score as they had 37 attempts at goal, but academy graduate Tom Heaton made sure the game remained goalless.

“It was bizarre. I think you have to give Burnley some credit for the blocks and for the fact they put their bodies on the line.

“Plus, Tom Heaton made some fantastic saves, but I don’t think I’ve seen United have as many chances as they had here for a long time. They should have won that game.

“It could have been six, seven or eight and Burnley wouldn’t have had any complaints. They were brilliant chances. The Zlatan Ibrahimovic chance at the end just summed it up.

“United created so many chances and should have taken them. It’s not happening for them at the moment or Ibrahimovic, who is a good finisher”. 

Neville says Ibrahimovic is in a bad spell at the moment, but perhaps is unlucky.

“He’s scored goals all over the world – he’ll not believe, he’s not scored a goal in that match.

“There wasn’t any negative reflections on any of the United players as I think they played well today. I don’t think they could have done any more apart from putting the ball in the back of the net.

“You can sometimes have days like that. I think when you’re a player in the dressing room and you’ve had nearly 40 shots on goal and created some unbelievable moments, you can only think ‘how have we not won that game?’

“It’s a little bit of bad luck they’re having at the moment – it’s certainly a blow. That was a game that they absolutely dominated.”   

This result leaves United five points off the top four places and eight points off the top spot- a lot for this stage in the season and taking just 15 points from 10 games isn’t good enough. The team is still gelling, of course, but it’s days like yesterday where United need to find that breakthrough. And with a difficult trip to Swansea next week and a game against an in-form Arsenal the week after, United could find themselves in the bottom half of the table not before long. It seems maybe a bit ridiculous to suggest this but it’s not impossible.

Question marks now loom over Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s role in the team and whether he should be dropped for Swansea next week. Possibly a chance to give Marcus Rashford a go up top. However, it does seem like United are having some bad luck at the moment, hitting the bar and post within a minute yesterday sums that up. But it’s after results like this when the rival fans are laughing and the media are criticising the team, that the players need to stick together and stand up to be counted. Onto Swansea next week.

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