Rio Ferdinand has accused Manchester United of ‘choking’ in the Premier League title race.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were held to a 3-3 draw by Everton this past Saturday and are now five points adrift of top spot.
Manchester City, the league leaders, have also played one game fewer than their local rivals.
United have dropped 10 points in recent weeks, losing to Sheffield United and drawing with Liverpool and Arsenal before Saturday’s game at Old Trafford.
And Ferdinand, who won six titles during his time as a United player, believes his former club have struggled to deal with the pressure at the top.
‘You can’t defend it,’ he said on Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE. ‘Man United were sitting pretty at the top of the league.
‘You see the league table, you look at the results, you get excited. When you put yourself in that position, Man United have to strike.
‘When there’s an opportunity you’ve got to go. The problem is we’ve let this opportunity slip through our hands.
‘You can see Man City with their experience, they’ve smelt blood, they’ve put their heads down, they’ve gone.
‘But Man United have stuttered, we’ve got the choke going in and out, haven’t got it quite working properly.
‘We have choked, it’s simple as that. I’d put us out of the title challenge unless we go on a run and we change our habits and our lack of consistency.
‘But I haven’t seen enough to suggest we can go on a 10-, 15-game winning streak. We’re tripping ourselves up all the time.’
United return to action against West Ham in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Tuesday.
Solskjaer’s side then face West Brom in the Premier League on Sunday, before beginning their Europa League campaign against Real Sociedad next week.
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