Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick expressed his frustration at more profligacy from his team after the 0-0 draw with Watford at Old Trafford.
ristiano Ronaldo, who hit a post and had an effort ruled out for offside early on, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba were among those who failed to make the most of opportunities in a contest that saw United create many while bossing possession.
The result – a third draw in five Premier League outings for the Red Devils, having also been held 1-1 by Burnley and Southampton this month – leaves fourth-placed United two points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal having played three games more.
Rangnick, whose side departed the field at the end with some boos coming from the crowd, said in his post-match press conference: “It feels once again like two points dropped that we should have easily won.
“I think we did everything apart from scoring. We had in both halves enough chances to win that game. But we didn’t, and that’s why we, not for first time, dropped two important points in a very important game.
“In the first half we had four clear opportunities that normally are enough to score at least one or two goals, and in the second half it was similar.
“In the end it’s about efficiency, about being clinical in front of goal, and this is not for the first time unfortunately.
“But apart from that we were in full control of the game. They had one or two moments, but apart from that we dominated the game completely.”
Asked why good players were not taking chances, Rangnick said: “It is difficult to say. Our job as coaches and the head coach is to help the team create enough chances.
“If we only had two or three opportunities in the game, we could ask ourselves what can we do to create even more. But I think the number of clear chances we had today has to be enough to win a game like this.”
Second-bottom Watford, who memorably beat United 4-1 in the reverse fixture in November that proved to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s last match in charge of the Red Devils, finished the game with the gap between them and safety standing at three points.
They have picked up five points from six games following Roy Hodgson’s appointment as successor to Claudio Ranieri in January, including their first win since that 4-1 game, and kept four clean sheets in that sequence.
Hodgson said: “How many teams come up here to Old Trafford in the bottom three and don’t find themselves under pressure? I thought we dealt with the pressure quite brilliantly.
“I thought our defending throughout was good from the front right the way through to the back, and I thought at the end of the day the hard work of the players and the determination and desire they showed means we go away from here with a very good point.”
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