A million miles away: Liverpool legend Steve McManaman gives scathing assessment of Manchester United

Old Trafford

Liverpool legend Steve McManaman has offered a scathing assessment of Manchester United’s capabilities this season.

United needed an Anthony Martial header to register a 1-1 draw with CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, but the Red Devils are now without a win away from home in Europe in four games.

Seydou Doumbia rattled in the opener for the Russians after David de Gea had denied Roman Eremenko from the penalty spot, and the point leaves Louis van Gaal’s side second in Group B.

United have collected four points from from their opening three games in Europe’s premier competition, but McManaman, who played for the their main rivals Liverpool from 1990-1999, feels that the Red Devils are unlikely to win any silverware this term.

McManaman told BT Sport: “When you are putting Marouane Fellaini on at half time to go and win the game, and you start going a bit more direct then I’m sorry, but you’re struggling.

“I don’t mean that negatively because in a team, he’s a good player, but the Manchester United of old [wouldn’t do that]. It’s not the way at all.

"They are a million miles away from where they should be.

“What do they need to do to improve in the Champions League? We say it after every game they play, they need to get better.”

McManaman did reserve a word of praise for Martial, who netted with a second-half header.

The 19-year-old Frenchman arrived for a reported fee of around £37m towards the back end of the transfer window from Monaco, and despite initial scepticism over the eye-watering fee for the teenager, the youngster is establishing himself as a key player.

“It’s a ludicrous amount of money to spend on a 19-year-old, but it’s similar to Kevin De Bruyne [at Manchester City] he’s doing the business for them, and thankfully, [Martial] is for United too,” he added.

“He’s playing really well and he’s a young guy so we’ll forgive him for the inconsistencies during a Premier League season, but he’s going to be a really good player, so that’s great to see.”

United return to domestic duty this weekend when they host local rivals Manchester City on Sunday.

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