Harry Maguire admits that Manchester United “must do better” after seeing another route to major silverware shut off in a 3-1 FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Leicester.
The Red Devils headed to the King Power Stadium determined to move one step closer to ending a four-year wait for tangible success.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were, however, to fluff their lines against the Foxes and their captain concedes that collective standards will need to be raised again after the international break.
What has been said?
Maguire posted on Instagram: “A tough one to take - It’s been a relentless run of games and today shown (sic), still no excuse we know we must do better.
“Still lots to play for and we must bounce back.”
What went wrong against Leicester?
United struggled to get going during a trip to the East Midlands, with Solskjaer forced to defend rotation within his ranks afterwards.
More individual errors cost the Red Devils dear against Leicester, with Fred laying an opening goal for Kelechi Iheanacho on a plate.
Maguire and Co then failed to get close enough to Youri Tielemans as he crashed in a second for the hosts, before Scott McTominay was caught under a cross that allowed Iheanacho to head home and end the game as a contest.
Mason Greenwood had levelled matters at one stage, but United rarely looked like building on that effort and booking a place in the semi-finals.
The bigger picture
Trophy bids in 2020-21 for United have not come to a close, with there still plenty left for them to play for.
A top-four finish in the Premier League is there to lock down, allowing Champions League qualification to be wrapped up.
Continental glory can also be achieved this term, with a quarter-final date with Granada lined up in the Europa League.
The first leg of that tie will take place on April 8, four days after the Red Devils return to action after the latest shutdown in domestic duty with a home date against Brighton.