Louis van Gaal was understandably furious with his Manchester United players after the 5-3 defeat to Leicester City.
United threw away a two goal lead at 3-1 by conceding four goals in the space of 30 minutes to give Leicester a famous win which exposed United’s defensive frailties.
Van Gaal blamed United’s ability to keep possession and kill the game off and was surprised at how poor United played or the last 30 minutes.
“You never expect that when you’re 3-1 ahead and you are two goals ahead for the second time,” Van Gaal said.
“You have to kill the game and keep possession but we could not do that. We gave it away with penalties, and you cannot win a game when you do that.
“I think we created a lot of chances and we made superb goals. But a game lasts 90 minutes and you have to do that for 90 minutes, not 60 minutes.”
Van Gaal also lamented the penalty decision given against Rafael but refused to blame it for the result: “At that time it was still 3-2, there was not a problem. You can kill the game, you can keep possession, and we kept possession in the first 10 minutes and made a beautiful goal. But then you have to kill the game and we didn’t do that, so you can never say ‘It’s not a penalty’.”
United’s players certainly didn’t get away without an earful from the Dutchman:
Walked past The United dressing room post match ….let's just say I wouldn't have liked to have been on the receiving end of LVG ! V Loud.
— Eamonn Holmes (@EamonnHolmes) September 21, 2014
However, Van Gaal has to take some of the blame too as his substitution choices were very poor and given that he took Falcao/Di Maria off, it was not really too much of a surprise that United’s attacking threat diminished. Instead, Robin van Persie shouldn’t have stayed on for the full 90 minutes.
Defeats like this will cause a search for a scapegoat but in this scenario, every United player is at fault for the loss and it is certainly a collective problem.
Overall the positives of attacking football were quashed by the dismal defensive display and United are some way off being as watertight in defence as they are flowing in attack.