Shaw looks for late drama in Premier League top four
Luke Shaw hopes the unpredictable battle for the Champions League places has yet another twist in the tail, as Manchester United head into the top flight's final fortnight.
The Reds missed the opportunity to put the squeeze on the current occupants of third and fourth place in the Premier League table - Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea - after drawing 1-1 with the latter at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.
With two matches to play, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side realistically need the full six points on offer and hope the other top-four contenders, including Arsenal, trip up somewhere in their last 180 minutes of the league campaign.
United are currently sixth with 65 points, one behind Arsenal, three behind Chelsea and five behind Spurs. The Reds have matches at relegated Huddersfield Town this Sunday and at home to Cardiff City, who could still be fighting the drop, on the final day of the season.
A win against Chelsea would have brought United level with the Stamford Bridge side and turned up the heat. But a 1-1 draw left it as a case of ‘as you were’ with United unable to take advantage and it left Shaw reflecting on a familiar storyline.
“We’re gutted. I felt the first half was brilliant. We had a game plan, we stuck to it, we had chances and we didn’t take them,” Shaw told MUTV.
“It’s the story of our season really. We’ve had so many chances and not been able to take them. That’s what’s cost us (against Chelsea). That first half was good but the second half lacked urgency.
“We knew we needed to win the game and we were maybe hoping for that bit of luck that might have brought us a goal, but maybe with the talent in our team we should have been pushing on more.
“We’re all gutted and devastated, but you’ve seen the way the Premier League has been going, anything can happen, but, obviously, now it’s in their hands. We need to just win our last two and see where it takes us."
United went ahead after 11 minutes with an opener from Juan Mata but Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso equalised two minutes before half-time after goalkeeper David De Gea parried a shot from Antonio Rudiger.
“We worked hard in training and we had meetings about what to do. We felt really comfortable in the first half and obviously the mistake happened, but mistakes happen in football, everyone makes mistakes and we just needed to carry on doing what we were doing,” the left-back said.
“In the second half we lacked that. If we’d have kept our urgency out there, like we did in the first half, we would have won the game. It’s disappointing and honestly everyone’s gutted in there. I’m sure the fans are too. We need to hope for that bit of luck and see what happens."
United fans gave De Gea vocal backing at the interval and full-time following his crucial slip.
“The fans were amazing for him and he knows that inside this dressing room we’re with him, the manager’s 100 per cent with him,” added Shaw.
“He’s been our best player for a number of years now and he’s saved us on many occasions.
“The best players in the world make mistakes and the best keepers, of course. But we need to move on. He’s got so much confidence in his ability and, like I said, he’s been one of our best players. We just carry on now and I’m sure he’ll be fine and move on.
“We need to get back to that winning feeling. We haven’t won for a few games now, so we need to win the last two and hope for a bit of luck.”
Chelsea v Watford (Sun 5 May, 14:00 BST)
Huddersfield v United (Sun 5 May, 14:00 BST)
Arsenal v Brighton (Sun 5 May, 16:30 BST)
Burnley v Arsenal (Sun 12 May, 15:00 BST)
Leicester v Chelsea (Sun 12 May, 15:00 BST)
Tottenham v Everton (Sun 12 May, 15:00 BST)
United v Cardiff (Sun 12 May, 15:00 BST)
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