Louis van Gaal says Man United gave it away against Newcastle

Dutchman: ‘We have only ourselves to blame because we could have won this match’

Louis van Gaal said Manchester United only have themselves to blame for their 3-3 draw away at Newcastle. Photograph: Getty

Louis van Gaal said Manchester United only have themselves to blame for their 3-3 draw away at Newcastle. Photograph: Getty

 

It was a case of one step forward and two steps back for Manchester United and Louis van Gaal as they cast off their recent “boring” image on Tyneside on Tuesday night but, despite some thrilling attacking, dropped to sixth place in the Premier League.

“Of course it feels like a defeat … we are very disappointed, we’ve lost very expensive points,” he said after his side’s 3-3 draw at Newcastle United where, despite Wayne Rooney scoring twice and creating another goal for Jesse Lingard, the visitors could not hold on to their leads.

“We have only ourselves to blame because we could have won this match,” said Manchester United’s manager. “We missed big chances to win it. We were the better team. We have scored three goals but only have one point. So now is the defence weak? No. We were unlucky in decisions of the referee and a deflected shot and we did not finish our chances.”

The Dutchman was unhappy with the award of a penalty to Newcastle, for shirt-pulling by Chris Smalling on Aleksandar Mitrovic, that made it 2-2, but put the blame on his own players. “We have given it away. I have told that to my players. When the referee gives a penalty for nothing – it is a duel I think and you cannot decide who is worse – but we gave it away.”

Second Captains

While Paul Dummett’s late Newcastle equaliser took a hefty deflection off Smalling, Steve McClaren arguably had considerably greater cause to be aggrieved by the refereeing and strongly disagreed with the early handball penalty awarded against Chancel Mbemba from which Rooney opened the scoring.

Van Gaal gave credit to Newcastle’s approach.

“Newcastle only wanted to attack,” he said. “You see two teams who want to attack. We saw a fantastic game tonight.” He added that normally it was different and his side were the victims of opposition spoiling tactics. “Only one team [Manchester United’s opponents] wants to waste time and frustrate opponents,” he claimed.

Relieved to have ended a run of four defeats, McClaren’s mood was further buoyed by the completion of Jonjo Shelvey’s £12m transfer from Swansea City shortly before kickoff. McClaren said: “I think there’s a lot more to come from him.” The midfielder is expected to make his debut at home to West Ham United on Saturday.

“I’m delighted to have signed Jonjo Shelvey,” he said. “I tried to sign him last summer. He’s English, he’s in the England team and I think there’s a lot more to come from him.” He feels much the same about his team as a whole. “Manchester United are a quality team but at the end of the night we’ve shown what we’re all about,” said McClaren. “We’ve shown character, attitude. By the end we actually had more possession that Manchester United.”

(Guardian service)

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