Manchester United have blown their title chance already this season after conceding a last-minute equaliser at home to Everton on Saturday night, according to Rio Ferdinand.
After going in at half-time 2-0 up, United took their foot off the gas and allowed the Toffees back into the game. However, a vital Scott McTominay goal restored their advantage going into injury-time. But they were unable to see the game out with Dominic Calvert-Lewin reacting quickest to fire home a last-gasp equaliser.
That result, coupled with recent a recent home defeat to Sheffield United and Manchester City’s fine form, leaves United five points behind the leaders. They have also played a game more than Pep Guardiola’s side.
And while United, at this moment, look like City’s most likely pursuers, Ferdinand reckons their title hopes are already over.
“You can’t defend it. At the end of the day Man United were sitting pretty at the top of the league,” he told his Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE podcast.
“We didn’t come into this season expecting to be title challengers. We were too far behind Liverpool. You can’t expect to have a turnaround that big to win the league, it’s impossible.
“But I’m like all the other fans. You see the league table, you look at the results, you get excited. When you put yourself in that position, Man United have to strike. You’re there now and there’s an opportunity.
“When there’s an opportunity, you’ve got to go. The problem is we’ve let this opportunity slip through our hands.”
‘City have smelt blood’
Ferdinand has credited Guardiola’s side for taking their opportunity to grasp hold of matters at the summit.
“You can see Man City with their experience, they’ve smelt blood. They’ve put their heads down, they’ve gone,” said Ferdinand, who won six Premier League titles with United.
“But United have stuttered, we’ve got the choke going, haven’t got it quite working properly. We have choked – it’s simple as that.
“I’d put us out of the title challenge unless we go on a run and we change our habits and our lack of consistency.
“But I haven’t seen enough to suggest we can go on a ten, 15-game winning streak. We’re tripping ourselves up all the time. It’s top four – we’ll finish second or third.”