Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has accused his old club of choking in their bid for Premier League glory.
The Red Devils have been sitting pretty at the top of the pile on several occasions this season, but they now find themselves five points behind leaders Manchester City having played a game more.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side dropped two vital points in the race for the title after drawing 3-3 with Everton at the weekend, and Ferdinand does not expect Man United to sustain a charge for top spot now.
Speaking on his Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE podcast, Ferdinand said: "You can't defend it. At the end of the day Man United were sitting pretty at the top of the league.
"We didn't come into this season expecting to be title challengers. We were too far behind Liverpool. You can't expect to have a turnaround that big to win the league, it's impossible.
"But I'm like all the other fans. You see the league table, you look at the results, you get excited. When you put yourself in that position, Man United have to strike. You're there now and there's an opportunity.
"When there's an opportunity, you've got to go. The problem is we've let this opportunity slip through our hands. You can see Man City with their experience, they've smelt blood, they've put their heads down, they've gone.
"But United have stuttered, we've got the choke going, haven't got it quite working properly. We have choked - it's simple as that. I'd put us out of the title challenge unless we go on a run and we change our habits and our lack of consistency.
"But I haven't seen enough to suggest we can go on a ten, 15-game winning streak. We're tripping ourselves up all the time. It's top four - we'll finish second or third."
The Red Devils now turn their attention to Tuesday's FA Cup tie with West Ham United before resuming Premier League action on Sunday against West Bromwich Albion.