VAN GAAL’S VERDICT ON WOLFSBURG DEFEAT
Louis van Gaal shared his thoughts on Manchester United’s dramatic 3-2 away defeat to Wolfsburg and resulting elimination from the Champions League when he spoke to the media after the match.
Here are the manager’s key comments from his post-match interview with BT Sport and press conference…
“I think it is a crazy match. We scored the goals, then they are cancelling [out our] goals. Still we had chances, but they have also chances. When we scored, they scored after two minutes again. Also the winning goal was two minutes after we had equalised, so we had the chance to win I think. We fought for the win, but with ten men at the end [after injuries] we couldn’t do more than what we have done.”
Was there a lack of concentration?
“That is strange, okay it happens also in Eindhoven when CSKA Moscow were scoring and within ten minutes PSV were taking the lead, so that’s football.”
Should a team of United’s stature be knocked out so early?
“No, you can say that we were the favourites, but we were in a very tight group, and all the results are like that. It is always 1-0 or 2-1. You remember the first match against PSV when there were decisions of the referee, and also in this game, decisions of the referee that were not positive for us. When it is a tight group it can happen.”
Lingard’s goal disallowed for offside
“When you see that as a linesman then you are very good. When you firstly give the goal and then when a few players come and say to you, you change your mind, it is strange in my opinion. I don’t think that the goalkeeper was interfered by Mata, because the ball is turning in the goal. So I don’t think he can reach that ball. Of course he [the goalkeeper] sees Mata in an offside position and he takes the benefit of that, criticising the referee.”
On going into the Europa League
“I haven’t thought about that at this moment. I am very disappointed, the players are very disappointed. This is the league where we wanted to show our qualities, and we cannot do that anymore.”
How damaging is this defeat to the work you are trying to do?
“You don’t know that [how much damage this result does] because when you see the circumstances in which we have to play the match, with a lot of injuries and in the last 15 minutes we had to play with 10 players [with Smalling struggling with an injury], you have to analyse that also. The circumstances were not very good for Manchester United to play this game, but that’s difficult to understand because the fans and the players but also the manager want to win every game. It’s not like that – in sport you can lose also. Of course it’s a step backwards but you have seen also a lot of youngsters who played very well in my opinion.”
Schweinsteiger’s performance and substitution
“I have changed [replaced] him and I don’t change players for nothing. Then I think I can do it with other players better. We are all human beings and also Bastian is a human being, and he wants to play at the highest level and certainly in Germany to show his qualities. I cannot say that he was the Schweinsteiger from my period in Munich in this game.”
How much progress has there been at United in the last 18 months?
“At the moment, I cannot defend myself because we are out of the Champions League and every word I say is a wrong word, I think. When you see the facts, we were further in the Capital One Cup, we qualified for the Champions League group; we have played all these matches and are still in a very good position in the league. The facts are saying that we are better than last year, so that’s my answer because I can only give facts. I’m disappointed that we’re out of the Champions League, of course.”
Manchester United will compete in the Europa League for only the second time when European football resumes in February after the Reds bowed out of the Champions League in dramatic fashion in Wolfsburg.
Needing a win to guarantee progress from Group B into the last 16, Louis van Gaal’s men instead lost 3-2 to the German hosts, enabling PSV Eindhoven to snatch second spot with their 2-1 victory at home to CSKA Moscow.
United go into Europa League after dramatic defeat by Wolfsburg.
This is very painful and I’m so distraught but should I still say it? Well, yes!
Up Man U!