It was a case of the same old story for Manchester United on Sunday, with Juan Mata admitting to feeling ‘helpless’ on the back of another frustrating 1-1 draw.
The Red Devils have been bossing games in recent weeks, but turning possession and chances into goals and points is proving to be a little tricky.
Prior to the international break, Jose Mourinho’s side were repelled by a spectacular goalkeeping display from Tom Heaton in a 0-0 draw with Burnley.
They were able to sweep aside a lacklustre Swansea outfit 3-1 in south Wales, but returned to domestic duty with a 1-1 stalemate at home to Arsenal that really should have delivered greater reward.
A 4-0 mauling of Feyenoord in the Europa League last week bode well, and suggested that the shackles may have been broken, but United were back to their inconsistent best over the weekend as they were held 1-1 by West Ham at Old Trafford.
Mourinho’s men fired in 17 efforts on goal against the Hammers, but a lack of cutting edge is holding them back at present and Mata concedes that an unfortunate run in front of goal needs to be ended if their 2016-17 Premier League campaign is to be salvaged.
He wrote in a blog on his personal website: “This 1-1 would be easier to take if it came after a winning streak, but this is not the case.
“A few days ago we beat Feyenoord in a good game. We were playing to stay in the Europa League and the team delivered; we enjoyed ourselves on the pitch and scored several goals.
“So far in the Premiership, though, we haven’t found that consistency, that winning streak that is so much needed and that we’re working so much to achieve. When we seem to be close to a victory, it just slips away…
“I’m talking mainly about the Premier League games at Old Trafford, which is even more upsetting because playing in front of our fans is an extra, and that’s how we feel.
“But we must convert that desire to win and that frustration into more victories, more points. That will give us more confidence and will eventually lead to a good run of results.
“You feel helpless after these games when you think that you’ve played better than the opponent, that you’ve had chances to score and the goalkeeper has had a fantastic performance.
“But we can’t complain, we can’t just blame the bad luck. We know we must find the target more often to score more goals. We are doing what is more difficult: being able to create those chances, and now we have to take them. Otherwise, at this level you get penalised as we have seen lately.”
Sunday’s draw with West Ham has left United sixth in the Premier League standings, eight points adrift of the top four and 11 behind table-topping Chelsea.