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Premier League: Manchester United settle for 3rd straight draw, Romelu Lukaku stretchered off

first_imgManchester United’s frustrating run during the festive period continued as they settled for their third straight draw to drop further behind in the Premier League title chase.Mourinho was under scrutiny for the first time this season after Southampton walked away with a point from Old Trafford on Sunday.A lackluster drew 0-0 with the Saints to slip to third place in the league and fall 14 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City, who play Crystal Palace on New Year’s eve.ALSO WATCHThe attitude around the stadium after the final whistle was negative as fans booed off the ground an former players questioned the players’ ability to perform under crunch situations and Mourinho’s ability to get the best out of them.Troublingly for the Portuguese coach, United also has a striker shortage in the immediate future after Romelu Lukaku was carried off on a stretcher after a clash of heads in the first half against Southampton. Mourinho later said back-up striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be out for a month with a knee injury.The boss has revealed that @Ibra_official will be out of action for #MUFC for one month. pic.twitter.com/qrb60A3tU4- Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 30, 2017Mourinho’s post-match press conference was typical Jose as he kept focussing on referee Craig Pawson’s decision to not award a penalty for a handball against Southampton defender Maya Yoshida. The air was tense and you could sense pressure building on the Special One.The pressure is ramping up on United and Mourinho ahead of a match against Everton on Monday. United’s other results over Christmas are 2-2 draws against Leicester and Burnley. While they conceded a 95th minute late equaliser against the former, they came back from being 2-0 behind against the latter to earn a point. With 14 points away from the top, United’s main task might now be holding onto a place in the top four with Liverpool three points back in fourth.advertisement”We have to bounce back, we have to wake up and get back to winning.”#MUFC’s Paul Pogba speaks to #MUTV following tonight’s game. pic.twitter.com/SYHunzZFxr- Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 30, 2017And United’s record signing Paul Pogba was perhaps the first one to admit about the pressure after Saturday’s result.”The pressure is coming from behind,” United midfielder Paul Pogba said, “but we have to forget about everyone else and focus on ourselves.”United took a while to regroup after losing Lukaku and struggled to open up a visiting defense that produced an embarrassing display in conceding five goals against Tottenham four days earlier.Lukaku fell to the ground when Southampton defender Wesley Hoedt’s head went into the back of the striker’s head in an aerial challenge. After a break of at least five minutes, Lukaku was carried off to applause from both sets of fans.Jose Mourinho has provided an update on Romelu Lukaku’s injury: https://t.co/PSRj5Ykbjj pic.twitter.com/7Ro6buMB6v- Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 30, 2017″When you see a player leave the pitch like he did, it is usually two games at least,” Mourinho said.Marcus Rashford was sent on as a replacement but his final ball proved as poor as his teammates, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan — back in the starting lineup for the first time since Nov. 5 — having a poor game.On the occasion Mkhitaryan did deliver a good cross, Jesse Lingard headed narrowly wide. Lingard was then livid after flicking the ball up and seeing it strike the arm of Yoshida, only for the referee to say play on.At the other end, James Ward-Prowse forced David de Gea into a save from a free kick and an unmarked Hoedt headed wide following a corner. Shane Long looked set to end a goal drought stretching back to February early in the second half, but De Gea saved with his feet.In the final stages, Pogba tapped the ball into the net from close range after a goalmouth scramble, but the flag was raised for offside. If Pogba hadn’t applied the touch, the ball might have been heading in anyway.”That is not United,” former United midfielder Gordon Hill tweeted after the match. “I don’t care what people say. Horrible.”(With inputs from AP)last_img read more