Harry Maguire says Manchester United will have to respond to their chastisement loss to Manchester City by taking a brutal victory if they are to have a chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
After finishing penultimate last season and losing the Europa League final on penalties, the acquisitions of Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo brought new hope that United could end their trophies drought.
But the season has turned into a nightmare, with the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November and Sunday’s 4-1 defeat at City, leaving Ralf Rangnick’s Red Devils 22 points behind the Premier League leaders.
United have dropped to fifth and although they are just a point behind Arsenal in fourth place, Mikel Arteta’s men have three games in hand.
Captain Maguire, who said the players were “devastated” after their humiliating loss at the Etihad Stadium, is under no illusions about United’s uphill battle,
“We know it’s an important end of the season that we have and a series of games where we have to know we have to run and then we have to win. win after win,” the center back told MUTV.
“We are more than capable of doing it, but we have to show it on the field.”
Next weekend’s clash with fellow top-four rivals Spurs will be followed by the Champions League last-16 second leg against Atletico Madrid – matches that could unravel things further for United.
Kevin De Bruyne’s goals on either side of a Jadon Sancho leveler gave Pep Guardiola’s side the lead at halftime on Sunday, before the hosts came up to cruising speed in the second half, with Riyad Mahrez scoring twice.
“It’s a disappointing result for the players, for the club, for the fans, for everyone involved,” Maguire said.
“We come into these games full of emotion, we give everything, we work tirelessly in the preparation, we are looking forward to the games and we had a great confidence that we could come here and get a result.”