Alan Smith: This is Man United’s best chance of Champions League football

The Arsenal legend discusses Manchester United's best hopes of reaching next season's Champions League

Alan Smith believes winning the Europa League represents Manchester United’s best chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

The Red Devils played out a disappointing 1-1 draw with West Ham United at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon to fall further off the pace in the title race.

Summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic managed to cancel out Diafra Sakho’s second-minute opener with a cushioned finish midway through the first half of the Premier League clash.

However, the 20-time English champions were unable to conjure a second-half winner despite Mourinho’s side creating plenty of chances against the Hammers.

The Red Devils are eight points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal after a run of two victories in 10 Premier League games in the 2016-17 season so far.

Manchester United were 4-0 winners against Feyenoord in their most-recent Europa League game to leave the Red Devils in second place ahead of their trip to Zorya Luhansk in their final group-stage fixture.

Former Arsenal striker Smith believes winning Europe’s second tier competition could be Manchester United’s best route back into the Champions League.

“They’ve got it all on to finish in the top four so it might be that he [Mourinho] looks at the Europa League and thinks that he’s got to try and give everything to try and win this and get in the Champions League,” Smith told Sky Sports News on Monday morning..

“That’s probably going to be his best hope. It’s going to be a real struggle.”

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