In Review

Toothless Man United in danger of Champions League exit

Misfiring United have only six goals in eight games and another blank in Europe leaves them on the brink

Manchester United 0 PSV Eindhoven 0. 

A goalless draw against PSV Eindhoven at Old Trafford leaves United's hopes of qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League hanging in the balance. Only two points separates leaders Wolfsburg from PSV in third spot, with United sandwiched between the two on eight points.

But United are in a very vulnerable position after a drab performance against the Dutch. While PSV's final game is at home against CSKA Moscow, the whipping boys of Group B, United must travel to Germany to face group leaders Wolfsburg. 

Only a win will guarantee United a place in the knockout stages, but Wolfsburg are not going to roll over as defeat for them would probably mean a third placed finish.

What's more, should PSV and United finish level on points it's the Dutch club who will progress thanks to their 2-1 victory over the Red Devils in September.

In truth United have only themselves for finding themselves in such an unhealthy position. Though they dominated possession on Wednesday night, they rarely threatened the PSV goal with Jesse Lingard squandering their best chance of the game when he blasted over the bar in the second half. 

Since Alex Ferguson retired in the summer of 2013, it's the United defence that has been under scrutiny, but more recently their attacking prowess has been called into question. Just six goals in the last eight games is a sorry return for a club of United's stature and captain Wayne Rooney - who has managed just two goals in his last ten games for the club - admitted they needed to be more "ruthless" in taking the chances that fall their way.

"The result is disappointing because I think we could have finished this game several times in the first half and also in the second," reflected United manager Van Gaal. "We didn't play so well. In the first half it was average but in the second, despite my changes [the introduction of Juan Mata, Ashley Young and Marouane Fellaini] it did not improve."

Asked if he was concerned about the goal drought in recent matches, Van Gaal replied: "Of course I am worried, but I also know that goals are coming and going. It is not a consequence of good or bad performances. Today, we could have scored three goals. The next game, we could score out of nothing. That is football."

United beat Wolfsburg 2-1 when the sides met at Old Trafford at the end of September and Van Gaal struck a bullish note in discussing their chances of repeating the result in a fortnight. "We can win anywhere," he declared. "We have proved that in the Premier League and we must do it in the Champions League. We've made it hard for ourselves ahead of the last game but we'll go to Wolfsburg with hope."

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