Manchester United maintained their unbeaten start to the Premier League season with a 0-0 draw against Newcastle United on Saturday that highlighted goalscoring remains a concern for the Old Trafford side.
Leaders Manchester United commanded 70 percent of possession and had 20 shots at goal without managing to break through.
Despite an inability to turn their dominance into goals manager Louis van Gaal said their display against Newcastle was one of the best since he took over last year.
“The performance was one of the best in my period but we don’t reward ourselves,” the Dutchman told the BBC.
“We did not make the right choices in the final third but we played fantastic as a team.”
Wayne Rooney, restored to his customary position up front this season, had a goal disallowed for offside and turned in an improved showing after a quiet start to the campaign.
Memphis Depay, who scored twice in the 3-1 Champions League win over Club Bruges in midweek, was wasteful in the final third against Newcastle while substitute Javier Hernandez spurned a good chance to snatch a late winner.
Manchester United have shored up last season’s defensive problems and have yet to concede in three league fixtures but, at the other end, they have netted just twice, one coming from an own goal by Tottenham Hotspur defender Kyle Walker.
Newcastle manager Steve McClaren, who once had a spell as Alex Ferguson’s assistant at Old Trafford, cut an agitated figure on the bench especially in the first half.
“We’re disappointed,” said the former England boss. “We knew the first 20 minutes would be theirs but we grew in belief and should have scored.
“The defending and discipline was superb but we really could have nicked it. We had the chances but didn’t take them.”
Manchester United have seven points from three games while Newcastle are on two points.