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top four 'That was boring' - Gary Neville believes Man United have opened the door to rivals

Man United fail to shine as they draw a blank against Crystal Palace

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Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United battles for possession with Jordan Ayew at Selhurst Park. (Photo by Adrian Dennis - Pool/Getty Images)

Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United battles for possession with Jordan Ayew at Selhurst Park. (Photo by Adrian Dennis - Pool/Getty Images)

Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United battles for possession with Jordan Ayew at Selhurst Park. (Photo by Adrian Dennis - Pool/Getty Images)

Gary Neville believes Manchester United may have surrendered their advantage in the battle for a top four finish, as he suggested Liverpool and Chelsea will be eyeing up second place in the Premier League.

United lost their way in the south London fog as they were held to a goalless draw at Crystal Palace, meaning the Red Devils are now 14 points behind leaders Manchester City after a drab affair at Selhurst Park.

A day after rivals Manchester City made it 21 wins in a row to open up a 15-point gap at the top, the Red Devils were left frustrated in a goalless draw with the Eagles and have won only one of their last five matches in the division.

Liverpool host Chelsea on Thursday night and the two clubs will want to close the gap on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s struggling side.

"They looked lethargic and well off it, their body language looked really drained," said Neville as he reflected on a United side that has drawn their last three matches 0-0.

"I thought they would cement second place by picking up points at places like Crystal Palace. Now Liverpool and Chelsea will think they are in with a right chance.

"It wasn’t a good night for United. It doesn’t matter who’s in charge, you can’t be boring and that was boring tonight.

"They are sleepwalking in games. They are going to end up in a top-four race if they are not careful."

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted his side were lacking a cutting edge, as they opened the door for their rivals to chase them down in an increasingly competitive top four battle.

"It's disappointing. We were just a little bit off. If you're not spot on you're not going to win games," said Solskjaer.

"Sometimes it's human nature, sometimes you don't work at your best. Today we didn't. It's been a long season but everyone has the same season.

"We kept giving the ball away. There were times in the first half we built some pressure, had some half-decent chances but we kept giving it away."

Solskjaer admitted his side's faltering form in the opening weeks of 2021 is undermining their attempts to succeed this season as he admitted his side have lost their momentum.

"It's not good as you know if you want to move up the table, you need to win," he added. "You have to earn the right, you have to win tackles, you have to fight you have to play passes better we kept giving the ball away.

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Manchester United were forced to settle for a point on a disappointing night in the capital (Mike Hewitt/PA)

Manchester United were forced to settle for a point on a disappointing night in the capital (Mike Hewitt/PA)

Manchester United were forced to settle for a point on a disappointing night in the capital (Mike Hewitt/PA)

"The tempo was missing, once in a while it happens. It wasn't one of our best nights that's for sure.

"Roy Hodgson always sets his teams up to be really hard to play against and it just showed again tonight. A couple of times when we had the tempo in the right positions, we created decent opportunities but I don't think we deserved anything more than one point.

"Of course it's a concern. When you have three clean sheets in a row, that will help you win games but we haven't produced the quality. We just have to find a spark again, the quality again and try and wins the games.

"Dean Henderson saved the point for us as he's not really had too much to do. But that shows he is maturing and growing and gaining experience.

Looking forward to the weekend's game with Manchester City he added: "We go into every game thinking we need to win and we want to win. We just have to concentrate on ourselves. We know we're in a fight to be top four, so every game is important."

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