Manchester United have now played out two consecutive 0-0 games in the past week. First was a well fought draw with local rivals Manchester City, where neither team had more than a singe shot on goal.
The other came last night, in the League Cup, against Championship side Middlesbrough, who went on beat United on penalties.
In both games Chris Smalling has been immense, as he has been all season. His partner in the cup tie, Daley Blind, almost put the opposition ahead, twice!
The Dutchman scored a horrific own goal, but luckily the opposition was ruled to be marginally offside. He then sent a poor, bobbling, pass back to Romero who had to react late to stop it from going into his net.
MUTV asked Smalling about his thoughts on the game, and the lack of scoring.
The top English centre back replied:
“Everyone’s very flat in the dressing room.
“I think we put in our all for the entire 120 minutes and I think as the game got on we got stronger. We had quite a lot of chances but it just didn’t break our way today.
“I think we’ll take the disappointment tonight but tomorrow we need to turn our attentions immediately to Saturday, because it’s another big game, an away game, and we need a response from tonight.”
Smalling says that it was Manchester United’s task to break down Middlesbrough and they failed to do so:
“Sometimes it can be easy playing games against teams in your own league because the game can be more open.
“But we had to take that challenge on because we’re the bigger team and they’re going to come here and be more defensive.
“It’s our job to break them down and we couldn’t do it in normal or extra time, and when you get to penalties it’s anyone’s luck.”
Smalling is expected to start alongside fellow Englishman Phil Jones in the weekend’s Premier League match up against Crystal Palace.