Manchester United are down to sixth in the Premier League after losing to Arsenal.
It has been another hugely disappointing season for Manchester United who are set to endure another trophyless campaign, their fifth in succession.
However, Ralf Rangnick’s side were still in the race to finish in the Premier League top four and qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League. That, though, appears extremely unlikely following their defeat to Arsenal on Saturday.
United slumped to a 3-1 defeat at the Gunners, which leaves them six points behind Mikel Arteta’s side, with just five games left; Arsenal also have a game in hand.
Red Devils fail to rise to occasion
Manchester United’s chances of earning a top-four spot were already slim going into the game at the Emirates. However, their hopes are now effectively over after losing to Arsenal.
The Red Devils simply failed to rise to the occasion and were once again sloppy and lethargic. After losing 4-0 to Liverpool in midweek, a reaction was expected from Rangnick’s side, but that never happened.
They started poorly against the Gunners, conceding after just three minutes following some comical defending in the box. A 3-1 result looks flattering for Arsenal and rightly so. Bruno Fernandes’ costly penalty miss could’ve changed the dynamics of the game, while Cristiano Ronaldo had an effort ruled out for offside.
Nevertheless, the visitors failed to rise to the occasion. They neither showed the character nor the temperament needed in such a season-defining game. Any team that plays like the did – as if nothing was at stake – deserves nothing.
Manchester United bracing for no UEFA Champions League football next season
Manchester United’s hopes of making it to next season’s UEFA Champions League are effectively over. They’ll need more than a miracle to qualify.
As things stand, the Red Devils are six points behind Arsenal and four behind Tottenham Hotspur. Considering that both teams have a game in hand, it’s all but impossible for Manchester United to catch up.
“For me, even before the game, it (top four) was not very likely, but after today’s result it is gone, yes,” Rangnick admitted after the game, as quoted by Goal.
“There is a lot of work, for sure. We knew that before the game. We showed what football we can play. Although we had to deal with the two early goals ,we still showed the attitude. There is nothing about the attitude of the players we should fault today.”
Rangnick rued his team’s defending and a few VAR calls not going their way, adding:
“I thought the weak part of our performance today was we didn’t defend well inside and around our box. I felt there were three very unlucky VAR decisions.”
United have been a big letdown this season, but they could’ve salvaged their season with a top-four finish. After losing to Arsenal, though, the Europa League could be their abode next season.