Juan Mata admits Manchester United’s lack of killer instinct at Leicester has left those in the Red Devils camp “frustrated and angry”.
Jose Mourinho’s side appeared to have battled their way to three points at the King Power Stadium after recovering from falling behind to take control of the contest.
Mata bagged a brace to turn a festive fixture on its head, but his efforts were ultimately rewarded with just a solitary point as Harry Maguire snatched a last-gasp leveller in a 2-2 draw.
United are now 14 points adrift of arch-rivals Manchester City in the Premier League table, with another costly setback effectively ending the title race as those at Old Trafford are left to curse their shortcomings.
“We didn't kill the game and we should have killed it – it’s easy to say now,” Mata told MUTV.
“If we won, we would have been saying it was a fantastic game and we came back and did the most difficult thing which was to score twice after they went ahead. But that's football and in the last seconds they put the ball into the box and scored.
"You have to keep going, particularly at Christmas time when you play every two or three days.
"Now we feel frustrated and angry, but we need to keep going and from tomorrow, rest and think about the next game. Obviously we aim to finish the next one with a much better feeling."
Mata admits he can take little comfort from having netted twice against Leicester, with the Spaniard having done all he could to collect a win with one smart finish and a classy free-kick.
He added: “[For the first goal] I got into the box and Jesse [Lingard] laid the ball off for me and I tried to shoot at goal. I think it was between the legs of the defender and it went in at the far post.
“The other one was a nice free-kick, but now I'm feeling disappointed because they weren't enough to win.”
United return to action on Boxing Day with a home date against Premier League surprise package Burnley, before wrapping up 2017 with a visit from Southampton.