Not many teams can stop Man Utd from scoring, says Chris Smalling
By Richard Morgan and Johnny Phillips
Last Updated: 21/10/17 2:49pm
Few sides will be able to prevent Manchester United from scoring this season, according to defender Chris Smalling.
United travel to Huddersfield Town on Saturday afternoon sitting second in the Premier League, just two points behind leaders Man City, having won six of their opening eight fixtures.
However, Jose Mourinho's team came in for some criticism for the approach they took to last weekend's goalless draw with Liverpool at Anfield, the first time United have failed to score in the league this season.
Smalling, though, has defended the United manager's conservative tactics on Merseyside.
"You can see that we have attacking players, albeit they still have to defend when Liverpool have those attacks," he told Soccer Saturday.
"But we kept it tight and we know that when we get those chances, more often than not, when we keep a clean sheet or are defensively sound, then nine times out of 10 we will win that game because not many teams can stop us from scoring.
He [Lukaku] is always stressing to us if we can play him in those channels, then he feels favourite to beat any defender
"More often than not, we are the team that is on the front foot, because we are the one with the ball and we have to keep passing it side to side and finish them.
"And more often than not, when we get a goal and go 1-0 up and then the other team has to come out, that is often when we score the second, the third and the fourth. And we have killed teams in the last 20 minutes.
"But the onus is on us to have to break those teams down."
One man Huddersfield's back line will need to keep a close eye on on Saturday is striker Romelu Lukaku, who despite failing to find the net against Liverpool, still leads the Premier League scoring charts with seven goals.
"A bit like Zlatan [Ibrahimovic], we play off a main man who we feed off and he has been bang in form and we are very lucky to have him and Zlatan when he comes back," said Smalling.
"He is someone who likes to run in behind, he likes to be involved and he is always stressing to us if we can play him in those channels, then he feels favourite to beat any defender.
"So we try and feed him as early as we can, because we know he is such a threat."
United will not be taking their trip to the John Smith's Stadium lightly, however, with Smalling and his team-mates prepared for a battle against their newly-promoted opponents.
"We know that we can play teams and attack, we can defend, but when it becomes a battle in defence, midfield and in attack, we can stand tall and be firm," he said.
"And that is known from Jose Mourinho teams. He did that at Chelsea, with his teams being competitive no matter what the game throws at us.
"We can kill teams and see teams out if we are under pressure and the manager has really shown us what he wants."
Watch the full Chris Smalling interview on Soccer Saturday from noon on Saturday on Sky Sports News