Manchester United not title contenders, says Gary Neville

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United looks dejected with Memphis Depay
Image: Wayne Rooney (right) and Memphis Depay suffered defeat against Swansea

Gary Neville says Manchester United should not be judged as Premier League title contenders and thinks they must change their style of play.

United lost 2-1 at Swansea on Sunday, despite dominating possession and racking up more chances than the home side.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Neville criticised United's tempo and said they lack the cutting edge to improve on last season's fourth place berth. 

"They definitely somehow need more cutting edge. You can call it the manager's style, or individual players. Something needs to change," he said.

"At this moment in time we're not judging them as title contenders. We're judging them [on moving from] fourth to third or second, because that's the next step. But at this moment in time they're going to stay where they are.

"They have improved – they're a better team than they were this time last season, there's no doubt about that, they're defensively better.

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"There were some good parts to that game today defensively but there were also flare-ups defensively. The goalkeeper [position], that's reared its ugly head today."

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United took the lead in the 47th minute when Juan Mata got on the end of Luke Shaw's cross to fire in from close range.   

But the game was turned on its head when man of the match Andre Ayew and Bafetimbi Gomis scored for Swansea, who were able to hang on for the victory.

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Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal says his side couldn't cope with Swansea changing shape during their 2-1 defeat

Neville said United needed more urgency in the final third and should get a foothold in a game before dominating possession.

"They play football – and have done for 12-18 months – at 1-0 and 0-0 like they're winning 4-0," he added.

"It's not quick enough. They play really well, are dominating the game, have 65 per cent possession, have more shots but you have to score goals to capitalise on the football you're playing.

"They haven't got enough cutting edge. They haven't got players who can beat men in the final third, they don't create enough. They get lulled into thinking they're playing football really well.

"They dominate possession but they don't dominate the match. You dominate the match by scoring goals and playing at a high tempo. Win the game and then control possession.

"They play controlled possession before winning the game and that's the issue at the moment. It's OK if you win 1-0, you look like a really good team. But if a team get a goal back and you lose 2-1, that's a problem."

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