Draw against Aston Villa another dent to Manchester United’s top four hopes

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In his post-match press conference, Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard revealed he had to tell his Villa players few home truths about their disappointing first-half display against Manchester United as they trailed 1-0 at half-time.

“We were very positive in all the preparation work we did,” Gerrard told BBC Sport.

“We should have taken confidence from Monday [FA Cup defeat at Old Trafford] but we didn’t start the game in the right place and were second best for 25 minutes. The first goal was coming because we didn’t look right in that time.

“I had to tell a few home truths [at half-time] and the reaction was fantastic.”

Obviously, what he told his players was well-taken as evident in their Philippe Coutinho-inspired comeback. Villa came back from the dead to snatch a well-deserved point against the odds.

Now I’m left wondering what Ralf Rangnick told his United players at the break as we finished the first-half in cruise control.

Just 14 minutes separated Bruno Fernandes’ second goal and Villa second.

Whatever it is he told them obviously did not have any impact as instead of three points, we were left with one. Instead of keeping Villa at bay, we let them bail themselves out of the prison of defeat.

At the end of season if we fail to qualify for the Champions League, our 14 minutes lacklustre display could be one moment we will cast our minds back to with so much angst and regret.

It’s time for Ralf Rangnick to tell his Manchester United players few home truths of one which is: “We can’t afford to drop points anymore”.