Gary Neville believes there was a distinct lack of movement from Manchester United’s front three in their dull 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace.
United played out their third goalless draw in a row in all competitions and now sit 14 points behind Manchester City going into Sunday’s derby at the Etihad.
It was a frustrating evening for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his team at Selhurst Park but the visitors never really looked like opening the scoring, with Rashford and Greenwood particularly struggling to offer their side any attacking impetus.
The ex-United defender said: “He (Fernandes) was sloppy from the first few minutes. He’s not been at his best in the last few weeks, maybe it’s a suggestion that he’s run himself into the ground and that could be true.
“When you watch the really fantastic front threes – and even this front three at times over the last few months when they’ve been at their best – those runs of diagonally running across each other, movement, there was no movement tonight, they were playing in straight lines.
“This means for Bruno Fernandes, those two in midfield – McCarthy and Milivojevic – but basically those two never got moved all night, the front players never moved the defenders.
“Gary Cahill and Kouyate, and Gary Cahill’s not been moved out of his position all night. I didn’t see Mason Greenwood once make a run in behind him, I didn’t see Marcus Rashford make a run behind.
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Manchester United were held to a 0-0 draw by Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players were frustrated for the third goalless game in succession, dropping more points to allow Man City to streak away at the Premier League’s summit, on a poor day for the forwards.
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“There was no movement, no urgency and they were static. Bruno Fernandes ends up being easily marked and easily picked up. Fred and Matic in midfield – they’re a little bit similar in terms of they play in a straight line with each other, McTominay runs forward a little bit more, Pogba obviously does move off-line.
“They were too rigid tonight in that system and it ended up being too predictable. The only real threat came at points when Luke Shaw went forward and put a little bit of energy into those overlaps.”