Manchester United fell to a disastrous 2-1 defeat at the Stadium of Light as a late Lamine Kone header was diverted into his own net by the unfortunate David de Gea – thus causing a humiliating defeat from a team struggling to avoid relegation. What a disaster!
David de Gea, 82′ W. Khazri 3′
Anthony Martial 39′
Manchester United headed into thie Saturday crucial clash unbeaten in 13 visits to the Stadium of Light and with the teams in the top four facing off on Sunday, the Red Devils could close the ever-widening gap at the top of the table.
In a most demeaning occurrence, the quest for a crucial victory at the Stadium of Light got off to the worst possible start after just three minutes.
I was stunned!
Wow! I couldn’t believe my eyes as my team stuttered from one bad movement to another.
With a 69% ball possession I couldn’t fathom out how United couldn’t have scored at least 2 goals in the first half of the match.
See the stats below to see what I mean:
POSSESSION: Sunderland 31% United 69%
SHOTS: Sunderland 8 United 5
SHOTS ON TARGET: Sunderland 1 United 3
CORNERS: Sunderland 0 United 5
See what I mean?
Any way, Sunderland started the second half as they did the first with a succession of set-plays, one of which seemed to strike Rooney on the hand, before Defoe was denied his seventh goal in as many games as Daley Blind brilliantly blocked from close range.
United continued to press, this time to salvage a point and despite Memphis testing Mannone again late on, United lost at the Stadium of Light for the first time in the Premier League.
The full time stats is even more depressing as United dominated without winning, once again!
POSSESSION: Sunderland 34% United 66%
SHOTS: Sunderland 21 United 12
SHOTS ON TARGET: Sunderland 5 United 6
CORNERS: Sunderland 5 United 8
THE UNITED TEAM
De Gea, Darmian (Love 38′), Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson, Schneiderlin (Keane 86′), Carrick, Lingard (Memphis 61′), Mata, Martial, Rooney.
Subs not used: Romero, Weir, Pereira, Herrera.
Booked: Rooney, Mata, Carrick
Barclays Premier League | 13 February 2016 | Stadium of Light | Attendance: 41,687 | Scorers: Khazri 3′, Martial 39′, De Gea o.g. 82′.
VAN GAAL’S VERDICT ON DEFEAT TO SUNDERLAND
Louis van Gaal admitted that Manchester United will find it difficult to finish in the top four after the 2-1 defeat against Sunderland as he reflected on the disappointing result at the Stadium of Light.
Here are the main points from the manager’s post-match interview with BT Sport and press conference…
Story of the game: “We didn’t keep the ball in our team. For example against Chelsea we did do it and that is a big difference because you can control the game. We created chances in the second half, we could have scored also but that is not the problem. I think as Manchester United you have to keep the ball in spite of the pressure of Sunderland and create chances. We didn’t have control in the second half. We didn’t have control in the first 20 minutes, we had control in the second 20 minutes and we scored.”
Reasons why United lost the game: “Two set plays, two goals. We know in advance that they could score from set plays. They have a taller team, we have to organise it well but the main reason is that always in a match you shall be compared with your opponent in aggression. I think they played with more aggression because they play with direct balls so second balls are very important to win. We didn’t keep the ball too much in our possession. These kinds of matches you have to win, I said that in advance, and we didn’t do that.”
Is the loss a backwards step? “Yes, of course. What I said before the game was we have to win this kind of game and we didn’t. We can only blame ourselves. I do my work to my utmost best. I cannot do more and I shall prepare my players against Midtjylland 100 per cent and I shall do that always.”
United’s top four hopes this season: “It shall be very difficult now [to finish in the top four] because we give five points away, against Chelsea and here now so it’s too much at this time. I think after this match it [the Europa League] is the best route [into the Champions League] but also there are some very good teams in the competition.”
Frustrations after the recent good run of form: “It is a big disappointment. I cannot say it in another way. You prepare this game the whole week. It’s always the big question that if you can cope with the tactics or aggression or some quality of the opposition then you have to show your own ability against that. It is always a question for everyone but today it was very disappointing. We need to win this game because of the big gap between the top four. We want to be there but it shall now be very difficult.”
Were you let down by your players? “It is not a question of being let down because the players wanted to deliver but because they don’t deliver today you are disappointed and frustrated but we are working together and pulling at the same string.”
Injury to Matteo Darmian: “It is unbelievable. It is a dislocation [of his shoulder] so he has several weeks out. We don’t have any more full backs in this club.”
Is it time for Louis Van Gaal to go?
Up Man U!