Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United adjusts his armband during the Europa League round of 16, second leg and soccer match between Manchester United and Real Sociedad at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Thursday February 25, 2021AP

Manchester United will score on Wednesday 3rd March 2021 (030321) in a Premier League game at Selhurst Park in London, England, at Crystal Palace

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An unexpected but burgeoning title challenge for Manchester United fell apart in just a few weeks

It was the fifth time United have played in nine Premier League games since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side took the lead 47 days earlier

No wonder that Solskjaer has the elevated status even after Jan Having downplayed 12 wins over Burnley gave United a glimmer of hope to end an eight-year title drought

With only three wins since then, United has allowed Manchester City to take control – with City showing off the level of attack that United’s portrayal on Stamford Bridge completely lacks

“We were both pretty sure,” said United defender Luke Shaw. “I don’t think we created too many chances. So a little disappointed with that. We had to win because the gap is obviously getting bigger”

United remain second overall, but City were able to extend their lead to 12 points after beating West Ham on Saturday

Fourth place for West Ham in the sights of Chelsea In a dreary encounter against United, Chelsea remained undefeated in the two months under Thomas Tuchel, but the club from West London remained in pursuit of the Champions League qualification Point back behind West Ham

Man United wants to do more than just top four finishes, but their record against the six biggest teams has been dismal United have not scored a single goal from the league open game against City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool all season and of course Chelsea scored

“We’re not scoring enough goals,” said Solskjaer. “The next step for this team is to win these games”

United grumbled about the referee at Chelsea after Callum Hudson-Odoi failed to get a handball penalty in the first half

“I’m a bit concerned that we won’t get these penalties after the noise that was made about our penalties a month or two ago,” said Solskjaer. “So it’s clear that managers influence the referees what they do shouldn’t do””

The manager even claimed a “cheeky” article on the Chelsea website “influenced the referees,” suggesting how United captain Harry Maguire “survived VAR ratings of fouls on his players” in recent games “had

“What they say about Harry Maguire puts pressure on the referees to impose penalties on us,” said Solskjaer, diverting attention from the ineffective attack with Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford

“I heard the umpire say to H,” If I give a pen, there will be a lot of talk afterwards, “Shaw said.” H was told by VAR it was a pen “

Three hours after the comments were made in an on-site television interview, United said Shaw heard the comments incorrectly. Shaw and Solskjaer could face charges by the Football Association for undermining the referee’s integrity

“You see this one second on the iPad and I see you live on the field,” said Tuchel. “I don’t understand why he has to check it, but I’m glad it’s not a penalty because it gets worse would have been ”

A game that ended with Christian Pulisic replacing Olivier Giroud from the bench to lead the attack offered little attack quality

“Now it’s a moment to stay every three or four days and show performances that ask a lot,” said Tuchelf

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