Solskjaer admits United not competing for title after Everton stalemate
MANCHESTER (AFP) - Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that his side should not be considered Premier League title contenders after twice blowing the lead to draw 3-3 at home to Everton.
Victory would have pulled United level on points with leaders Manchester City, but they have now won just one of their last four games to allow their local rivals to open up a commanding advantage at the top of the table.
City enjoy a two-point lead but also have two games in hand over United, the first of which comes away to defending champions Liverpool on Sunday.
“We’re not talking about winning titles, this team has come a long way,” said Solskjaer, who side finished 33 points behind Liverpool last season. “We shouldn’t be considered as title chasers. That’s one for you (the media). We’ve got to get better as a team and see where we end up. Going forward we were very good, but we need to stop conceding easy goals.”
Everton’s late show extends their unbeaten run on the road to seven games and moves Carlo Ancelotti’s men back up to sixth, three points off the top four.
Ahead of the game, the Munich air disaster—in which seven United players were killed 63 years ago—was remembered with wreaths laid by both captains.
A slow start followed that sombre note, but the match burst into life after Edinson Cavani’s excellent movement created space for the Uruguayan to head home Marcus Rashford’s pinpoint cross at the far post on 24 minutes.
Draw fair result: Carlo Ancelotti
Ancelotti cut a frustrated figure on the touchline during the first-half as his side constantly played themselves into trouble rather than seeking out the pace of Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin on the counter-attack.
“We were a little bit shy in the first-half,” said Ancelotti. “We had the opportunity in counter-attack in the first-half, but we were not clinical in passing forward. We didn’t deserve to lose. I think the draw was fair because the effort and spirit in the second-half was really good.”