Chris Smalling targets Champions League return for Manchester United

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Football News

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has insisted that reaching the top four is the "minimum requirement" for the Red Devils this season, reports SkySports.

Smalling, who played a key role in United's crucial victory over Premier League rivals Arsenal this past weekend, has suggested that the side should have more points at this stage in the season after an inconsistent opening period. 

However, after back-to-back wins, Manchester United now sit in fourth place in England's elite division, and Smalling has insisted that the Red Devils can now build on that as they face the duo of Hull City and Stoke City on home soil in their next two fixtures. 

Speaking to reporters, the England international said: "Given the manager and the players we have got, we should be playing better than we are, with more points.

Build on victory 

"But we have a good base now with an away win and now we can go back to Old Trafford and build on that.

"We showed a lot of character, we did not play that well and we will go through the video to see what we could have done better.

"We have two home games coming up, and we need six points, then we can have a look at where we are in the table."

Dealing with Arsenal 

Smalling has also revealed how the United defence stayed compact to deal with the threat of Arsenal's attacking force.

He continued by saying: "A lot of our shape was about making sure we were compact, being able to deal with their attack which can sometimes be through three or four players," said Smalling.

"We had to make sure we were always talking, leading each other along, because if you switch off for any moment, they can nick it, so we just had to deal with each threat that they can bring."

On a personal note for Smalling, he would have been extremely pleased with his performance at the Emirates after a nightmare display in the club's defeat to neighbours Manchester City a few weeks ago. 

The centre-half picked up a red card in the Red Devils' 1-0 defeat at the Etihad, but bounced back with a solid display against Arsene Wenger's side. He will now be hoping to keep his place in the side for the Red Devils' upcoming fixtures. 

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Chris Smalling
Manchester United
Premier League

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