United stumble, Mourinho laments lack of killer instinct
|MAN UTD||WEST BROM|
Jose Mourinho could not hide his displeasure at his side’s lack of a cutting edge.
Manchester United failed to make significant ground on their Champions League-chasing rivals in a 0-0 draw against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford.
The draw – their 11th of the season – extended their undefeated Premier League streak to 19 matches.
United last lost a league game in October when they were humbled 4-0 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and Mourinho is enjoying his longest unbeaten run in the top flight since October 2005 when his own Chelsea side went 40 games without defeat.
But his side are still four points short of the fourth Champions League spot, having won only four and drawn eight of their last 12 league games at Old Trafford.
And the United coach was left lamenting his side’s inability to kill off opponents.
“We have a lot of draws this season,” Mourinho told BBC Sport.
“Teams come here just to defend, goalkeepers come here to be man of the match," he added.
“We cannot score a goal even when we are one-on-one. We beat everyone on quality of play and direction of the game, possession, creation and ambition but we drew too many matches.”
United enjoyed 75 percent of the possession against Tony Pulis’s disciplined Albion, but while they took 18 shots to the visitors’ three, they failed to break down their opponents’ back line.
Their reliance on summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has scored 15 of United’s 43 goals this season, was again evident in his absence.
With the striker suspended, a front four of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard had no solution to Albion’s rugged defensive display.
“One team had the ball, one team didn’t. One team tried to win, the other tried to draw,” Mourinho concluded in a tetchy interview.
Pulis, whose West Bromwich team remain eighth, with 44 points, praised his side’s resolve. “If we won at the end, it would have been unjust,” he acknowledged.
“We’re really pleased with the effort and commitment they put in today. United have some really good players. No matter how well set up you are, you’ll always be on your back foot. “It’s a fabulous point to get at Old Trafford.”
The group plays very well together.
They play very compact but we had opportunities to spring out of it, like against Arsenal (a 3-1 victory for West Bromwich on March 18).
“Their resilience and commitment was fantastic.”