By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Paul Scholes has slammed Manchester United as an “average team” and claimed they are in “crisis” after they were knocked out of the Champions League on a night of incredible drama.
United appeared to have clinched qualification for the knockout stages when Marouane Fellaini’s 83nd minute header was deflected into the Wolfsburg net to make it 2-2.
But, in a thrilling encounter, the German club’s lead was restored a minute later to make it 3-2 and, almost simultaneously, PSV Eindhoven took the lead over CSKA Moscow in the other group match to condemn Louis van Gaal’s side to third place in Group B.
United will now compete in the Europa League in the new year, which could also have repercussions for their Premier League title challenge.
“United look an average team and with an average team you get average performances,” Scholes told BT Sport Europe on Tuesday night. “When you have spent about £250million, you can’t be relying on a 19-year-old. I’m sure Anthony Martial will go on to be a brilliant player but there should be proven goalscorers there.”
United have delivered a series of below-par performances in the Premier League this season but are only three points behind leaders Leicester.
Asked if his former club were in crisis, Scholes replied: “Yes, they probably are. He (Van Gaal) will say he has a lot of injuries and you have to give him that.
“It is going to be a long, difficult season. He has to give the fans something, win the FA Cup, Premier League or Europa League. Fourth [in the Premier League] is not good enough.”
Scholes blamed United’s performance in their home match against PSV Eindhoven a fortnight ago, which finished goal-less, as the principal factor in their failure to progress from what was not regarded as a difficult group.
“PSV was a killer,” said Scholes. “There as no urgency, no threat and no quality.”