Nemanja Matic wants Manchester United to kill opponents off when they have the chance after struggling West Brom made them work for a 1-0 victory on Saturday.
The win was United’s first in the Premier League at Old Trafford since July and came with a slice of VAR fortune after an incident-packed start to the second half.
Bruno Fernandes was penalised for a foul on Conor Gallagher in the United box, only for the decision to be overturned when referee David Coote reviewed replays on the pitchside monitor.
Fernandes then had the chance to score from the spot himself, at which point the Portugal midfielder earned another reprieve.
Replays showed West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone came off his line to save Fernandes’ initial effort and the United playmaker made no mistake from the retake.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were unable to build upon that slender advantage against an Albion side still without a win nine games into their top-flight return.
Johnstone was in inspired form against his former club, making six saves over the course of the 90 minutes, but Matic feels his team-mates could show more cutting edge.
“When we score first, we have to go on and kill the game as soon as possible, especially in the Premier League. We have to improve on that,” he told MUTV.
“Every team has quality, every team is dangerous. One-nil is not enough. They almost scored, they had one [shot] hit the crossbar. So, they were always dangerous.
“We have to make sure that next time we have more concentration in attack and make sure we try to kill the game early.”
The key moments from an important win in the #PL
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 22, 2020
On Opta’s big chance conversion metric this season, United actually perform fairly well, converting 57.1 per cent – the seventh-best return in the Premier League and only half a percentage point shy of reigning champions Liverpool.
Leaders Tottenham have netted 62.1 per cent of their big chances, while out-of-sorts Manchester City, who United leapfrogged as they moved into the top half on Saturday, rank 19th with 26.7 per cent.
United’s numbers suggest Matic might soon be more impressed by their efforts in front of goal, although the Serbia international insists there is only one statistic that truly interests him.
“Wins are the most important, of course, because at the end of the season nobody will ask you how you played, if you were amazing. The most important is you collect points,” he added.
“Manchester United want to win titles and our aim is to be in first position and we will do everything for that. We can do that only as a team.”
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