The world’s most expensive defender was unable to shut out the Gunners on Wednesday, with the Red Devils suffering a 2-0 defeat in north London.
Harry Maguire admits Manchester United ‘deserved to lose’ against Arsenal, with the Red Devils going down 2-0 at Emirates Stadium as they “weren’t good enough”.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side headed to north London on New Year’s Day in buoyant mood and with the Premier League’s top four in their sights.
An untimely stumble at the start of 2020 has kept them five points off that pace, with an opportunity squandered to open a new decade in style.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos had the Gunners two up by the interval, with Maguire conceding that the Red Devils were a long way off the pace.
“We started the game well. In the first 10 minutes, we created two good opportunities where we should have been a little bit more clinical. And then from there until the half-time whistle they were on top,” he said.
“They played with more aggression, more intensity and they pressed us better. So we’ve got to go back, work hard, improve.
“In the second half, we huffed and puffed and created some chances, but the key period was from the 15th minute until the half-time whistle and we weren’t good enough.”
“It was disappointing to go in 2-0 down at half-time because we should have weathered the storm, especially not conceding from a set play.
“When we’re not playing great we’ve got to do the basics well and doing the basics is heading the ball out of your box and keeping the ball out of your net.
“We had chances in the second half, but we deserved to lose. We weren’t good enough and we’ll improve for next week.”
United took to the field against Arsenal aware that Chelsea had dropped another two points earlier in the day in a 1-1 draw with Brighton.
Solskjaer’s side failed to kick open a door which had been left ajar, but Maguire says attention at Old Trafford cannot be allowed to drift towards what others are doing.
“Everyone around the club will have seen the [Chelsea] result and maybe thought it was an opportunity to move [closer to] the top four, but no, we are just looking after ourselves,” he said.
“We’re not really looking at other results. We need to put runs together. We need to go on runs, winning runs, and I think if we do that, we’ll get in the top four.
“If we don’t find the consistency like we haven’t done in the first part of the season, then we won’t.
“We’ve got to challenge ourselves, to pick ourselves up and definitely improve on that first half.”