Rio Ferdinand has accused Manchester United of “choking” in the Premier League title race.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were held to a 3-3 draw by Everton (opens in new tab) on Saturday and are now five points adrift of top spot.
Manchester City (opens in new tab), the league leaders, have also played one game fewer than their local rivals.
United (opens in new tab) have dropped 10 points in recent weeks, losing to Sheffield United and drawing with Liverpool (opens in new tab) and Arsenal (opens in new tab) before Saturday’s game at Old Trafford.
And Ferdinand, who won six titles during his time as a United player, believes his former club have struggled to deal with the pressure at the top.
'You can't defend it,” he said on Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE (opens in new tab). “Man United were sitting pretty at the top of the league.
“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.
“When there's an opportunity you've got to go. The problem is we've let this opportunity slip through our hands.
"You can see Man City with their experience, they've smelt blood, they've put their heads down, they've gone.
“But Man United have stuttered, we've got the choke going in and out, 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 10-, 15-game winning streak. We're tripping ourselves up all the time.”
United return to action against West Ham (opens in new tab) in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Tuesday.
Solskjaer’s side then face West Brom (opens in new tab) in the Premier League on Sunday, before beginning their Europa League campaign against Real Sociedad next week.
While you're here, subscribe to FourFourTwo today and save 37% (opens in new tab). All the exclusive interviews, long reads, quizzes and more but with more than a third-off normal price.
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
FourFourTwo was launched in 1994 on the back of a World Cup that England hadn’t even qualified for. It was an act of madness… but it somehow worked out. Our mission is to offer our intelligent, international audience access to the game’s biggest names, insightful analysis... and a bit of a giggle. We unashamedly love this game and we hope that our coverage reflects that.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.