Ashley Young.

Young: Top-four battle could go to the wire

Sunday 10 March 2019 20:53

Manchester United full-back Ashley Young expects the battle to finish in the Premier League's top four will go to the wire this season.

The 33-year-old expressed that view when speaking after the 2-0 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday, which saw the Gunners move into the Champions League places.

It was a disappointing and arguably unfair result for Ole Gunnar's Solskjaer's Reds, who created the better chances but unfortunately lost to goals from Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

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Young: On another day we'd have won clearly

Ashley Young is disappointed by the result, but he believes the performance was positive and remains upbeat...

The result at the Emirates Stadium, coupled with the other Premier League scores this weekend, mean the four sides vying for third and fourth place (Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, United and Chelsea) are separated by just four points in the table.

With things so tight between third and sixth, Young expects the tussle to continue over the last two months of the campaign.

Asked whether he thinks the Champions League places could be determined on the final day of the season, Young said: “Yeah, of course, but I think there are so many points to pick up, so many games left. For me, if we were talking back in October, saying that we were going to be fighting for fourth place, we would have taken that with where we were.
“But, on a personal level, and everyone in the dressing room, I think the club a size of United should be higher up the league and that’s where I see it, but right now, obviously, we’re talking about finishing in the top four and we’re going to do everything we can to do that,” he added.

While it was a frustrating evening in the capital, Young was pleased with the team’s performance.

“When you come to a team like Arsenal and create that many chances we should go on and win the game,” he said.
"When they got the first goal we created enough chances to go on and win the game, and on another day we put them in the back of the net and we go home celebrating with three points. But today was disappointing. 

“I think we hit the crossbar, the post, their keeper made a few saves. On another day, we come in at half-time two or three goals up, but it wasn’t mean to be.”
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Young was also asked about an incident when Chris Smalling was confronted by a pitch invader following Arsenal’s second goal.

It was the third such incident to take place over the weekend, following the shocking scenes at Hibernian's Easter Road and Birmingham City's St Andrew’s.

“To be honest, it’s something that the FA, Premier League and FIFA have got to sort out,” the defender said. 

“It’s the third incident now. I don’t know what they’re going to do. It’s getting to a point where players are feeling vulnerable on the pitch.

“Whether it’s extra stewarding, or whatever they need to do, something’s got to be done about it because you can’t have three fans on the pitch and getting that close to the players.”

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