United kicked off the New Year with a disappointing draw against Stoke City at Britannia Stadium. Despite the result, United still stay third in the league but, only just as a renewed Southampton is just a point behind them. On an otherwise disappointing day, the only positive for United from the match was their unbeaten run stretches to 10 matches with this draw. So let us look at the three talking points from the match:
United need to improve their away form
The Reds started the 2015 in the same way they finished last year. Throughout 2014, United won just six away matches. In truth the much criticized David Moyes has won more away games (four matches) than Van Gaal (two matches) in the last year.
Especially this season, the teams away form has been miserable. United have won just two of their last eleven away matches in all competition. The 5-3 thumping at Leicester in the league and 4-0 humiliation at the hands of MK Dons in the Capital One Cup being the poorest of the lot. The draw at Stoke was United’s third consecutive away draw following draws at Aston Villa and Spurs.
Van Gaal was clearly not happy with United’s away performances and admits Manchester United have no chance of winning the title unless their form on the road improves. According to Daily Mail, “‘When you want to win the league you have to win away from home, and at the minute we aren’t doing that. We aren’t losing, but we aren’t winning either. If you want to be a champion, you have to win these games.”