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Dublin: 20 °C Tuesday 2 June, 2020

Man United 'a million miles from top four', warns Gary Neville

A former Old Trafford favourite is concerned by the ongoing struggles of Jose Mourinho’s side.

Romelu Lukaku (file pic).
Romelu Lukaku (file pic).

MANCHESTER UNITED ARE a “million miles away” from the top-four challengers at the moment, says Gary Neville, with “a massive battle” leaving the Red Devils sweating on a Europa League spot.

Jose Mourinho has seen his side struggle for consistency throughout the 2018-19 campaign, with impressive results on the road at Chelsea and Juventus countered by dropped points at home to Wolves and Crystal Palace.

United sit seventh in the Premier League table as a result, with a 2-2 stalemate at Southampton on Saturday denying them the chance to become upwardly mobile.

They are now 16 points back on leaders Manchester City and eight adrift of the top four, while those chasing one of the limited European berths are starting to bunch up behind them.

If you are Manchester United, where are you at? Watching them on Saturday against Southampton they look a million miles away from that [Arsenal and Tottenham],” former United defender Neville told Sky Sports.

“United are in a massive battle to get into the top four, even the Europa League places at the moment.”

Mourinho’s men will get the chance to close on the Champions League spots on Wednesday when they welcome fourth-placed Arsenal to Old Trafford.

The Red Devils will be hoping that home comforts work in their favour, but the Gunners are unbeaten in 19 games across all competitions and coming off the back of a thrilling derby victory over arch-rivals Tottenham.

Neville is looking for United to raise their game against an in-form opponent and prove that something can still be salvaged from a testing season.

He added: “Manchester United have to prove, more than they have so far this season, that they can compete with this Arsenal team.

Old Trafford is always a difficult place to go, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Manchester United won on Wednesday night, however, they will recognise they have had a warning from Arsenal [in the derby].

“No team should now be shocked about how Arsenal are going to play in big matches in the future.”

United’s recent record against the Gunners at Old Trafford suggests that they should be confident of collecting a positive result, with Arsenal’s last Premier League victory in the red half of Manchester coming way back in 2006 – with only one FA Cup success enjoyed since then.

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