Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has said his side won't be able to challenge for the Premier League title if they drop points like they did drawing 1-1 with Aston Villa at the weekend.

An early strike from Christian Benteke had put Villa in the lead on Saturday, but Radamel Falcao's second goal for the Red Devils meant that both sides shared the spoils at Villa Park.

The result denied United a seventh successive Premier League win, a run that has seen the team surge up the table in third place. But van Gaal said that with Chelsea and Manchester City both seven points ahead, his side will not be able to catch them unless they can keep their winning run going.

United now face three tricky fixtures over the packed Christmas period, playing at home to Newcastle on Boxing Day, before subsequent away trips to Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City.