Pep Guardiola feels Manchester United can make the Premier League top four but feels they will struggle to challenge for the title.
United are sixth in the table, but already nine points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, and 13 behind leaders Chelsea.
Guardiola says Jose Mourinho’s men are dominating matches but failing to finish opponents off – no team has drawn more games in the top flight than United this season, with Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Everton their sixth. That was their third consecutive 1-1 draw, and the six stalemates have all come in their last eight games.
No team has ever won the title from 13 points behind – United hold the record by coming from 12 behind Newcastle to win it in 1996. But Guardiola says United can still qualify for the Champions League by finishing in the top four.
Pep Guardiola, left, feels Jose Mourinho’s side will struggle to challenge for the title
“How they played lately, yes,” Guardiola told The Times when asked if a top-four finish was realistic for United.
“I saw the games against Stoke [1-1], Burnley [0-0] and another one at Old Trafford. They deserve by far to win those games. But football is like this.
“Of course United have the quality, for the history, the managers and the players to be there.
“Thirteen points is a long distance, especially when one team is winning games with the quality of Chelsea. So it is not easy. But to be in the top four? Of course.”