Manchester United must improve their defence if they want to challenge

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Manchester United fans will be thanking their lucky stars today, after a less than convincing win against Southampton on Sunday.

In a game that once again highlighted the potential of Anthony Martial and the importance of David de Gea, it is United's amateurish performance in defence that remains a concern for a team currently sitting second in the Premier League.

With Louis Van Gaal confirming his side will challenge for the title this year, he must be genuinely concerned that his team's defending at times, particularly on crosses, is simply unacceptable.


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While there is little doubt he tried to sign a world-class centre-back in the summer, he has to find the perfect balance in the two central defensive positions, tricky considering a genuine lack of options.

Interestingly enough, Chris Smalling and Daley Blind have formed a decent partnership, despite observers and pundits questioning Blind's suitability due to a lack of height.

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But if there are any shortfalls his game he more than makes up for it in discipline and concentration.

Even Blind, though, by his high standards, must have been disappointed by his performance yesterday, but it wasn't helped by a complete lack of organisation across the back four.

Van Gaal will need to spend a lot of time working with his defensive players and coaches over the next couple of weeks to ensure his team are ready for challenging fixtures against Arsenal and Manchester City, who will be keen to stamp their authority on the league this season.

What is United's best defensive line-up in the absence of Luke Shaw? Have your say below!

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Premier League
Manchester United
Louis van Gaal

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