Manchester United could not score at Old Trafford for the second successive game as a 0-0 draw against West Ham United dropped them to fourth place in the Premier League on Saturday.
Louis van Gaal’s side have now drawn a blank five times at home in all competitions this season, threatening their chances of regaining the domestic title and progressing in Europe.
United, missing injured captain and top scorer Wayne Rooney with an ankle injury, created so many chances, but lacked a cutting edge in a dull encounter that will heap further pressure on van Gaal, who has been widely criticised for his conservative tactics.
A repeat of this weak effort at Wolfsburg on Tuesday could prove terrible in a game they need to win to be sure of progressing in the UEFA Champions League.
United at least head to Germany with their unbeaten home record in the Premier League intact, although West Ham will also point to missed chances that cost them the chance to win for the first time in five games and add United to their list of scalps away from home this season which includes Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool.
The inclusion of Marouane Fellaini in place of Rooney gave a different dimension to United’s attack and the Belgium international was heavily involved as van Gaal’s side looked for the early goal which would have eased the pressure.
Fellaini had already dragged a shot wide following a run from half-way when he went close in the eighth minute with a header from Paddy McNair’s cross which might have found the top corner but for a deflection off Winston Reid.
That intervention was nothing, though, compared with the block Reid made in denying what looked like a certain goal after a quarter of an hour.