Matchwinner Bruno Fernandes says Manchester United must kill teams off quicker to keep pace with Liverpool at the top of the table.
United joined the Merseysiders at the summit on 33 points after edging past Aston Villa 2-1 on Friday night.
But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men had to dig deep.
A Fernandes penalty had given them a 2-1 advantage just past the hour park. But they couldn’t add to that lead despite creating several more chances.
It meant Villa were in the game until the very death. And deep into injury-time, Eric Bailly had to make a last-gasp block to stop Keinan Davis giving the visitors a draw.
United had needed a late, late Marcus Rashford goal to beat Wolves 1-0 in their previous home match.
And they were pegged back to 2-2 by Leicester in the game before that after leading 2-1 with five minutes left.
Fernandes says his team need to be more clinical to avoid all the late-game drama.
The point was made by boss Solskjaer and the Portuguese midfielder concurred.
“I agree with that because against Leicester we conceded a goal at the end,” said Fernandes.
“The only mistake we made today was we had more chances to score again and maybe we have to close the game more quickly.
“We don’t score the third one and they press us until the end.
“We knew they [Aston Villa] play really well. They have qualities and are doing well in the league.
“We did well and created more chances than before but scored less goals. The most important thing is three points though.”
Fernandes happy to stay on penalty duty
Once again, Fernandes kept his cool from the spot to give United the winner. That took him to 16 goals this season and he’s happy to keep stepping up.
“I feel like I have to make the penalty go on goal but it’s important to score and it doesn’t matter how,” he said.
“You need to win the games no matter how. I am confident when I take the penalty otherwise I would pass for somebody else.”
Solskjaer also praised Fernandes’ bottle as United moved level with Liverpool on points but behind on goal difference.
The Norwegian said: “He wants to take the penalties and that’s the first thing.
“He is never afraid of missing. He has been very safe and is a confident man on the spot.”
Overall, Fernandes has been successful with 15 out of 16 spot-kicks since joining the Red Devils.
Since his arrival, United have won more points than Liverpool in the Premier League.