Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand does not believe the Red Devils will be challenging for the Premier League title at the end of the season.
The Old Trafford club are currently second in the table despite a perceived slow start to the season but are already five points behind Manchester City.
United's second half performance against Liverpool was a marked improvement from their other four games, but Ferdinand believes his former club are some way off challenging this season.
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The 36-year-old believes Louis van Gaal's men will finish in the top four and current leaders, City will win the title after a change of tactics from Manuel Pellegrini.
As per the Manchester Evening News, the BT Sport pundit said: "They'll finish in the top four, but I don't think they'll go close to winning the league,
"That hurts me. Manuel Pellegrini got his system wrong last season – playing 4-4-2 in big games you get out-numbered in midfield, and you’ve not got the personnel to cope.
"It’s easy for us to say on the outside, but it was glaring. I think he has held his hands up. He’s changed that system, and it seems to have really helped him."
Van Gaal has already claimed his side will not win the title but expects them to challenge in the cup competitions and on current form it seems United will struggle to sustain a title challenge.
Despite producing an improved performance in the second half against Liverpool, the Red Devils have struggled to break teams down this season.
Their city rivals have looked imperious, keeping clean sheets in their first five games and collecting maximum points.
It is early days, too early to write off the 20-time champions, but they will need to improve if they want to stay within touching distance of City.