Van Gaal: Smalling’s red card was stupid

by Sam Peoples

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was critical of defender Chris Smalling after he was sent off in the first half of the 1-0 defeat to Premier League champions and local rivals Manchester City.

Smalling, 24, was sent off towards the end of the first half for two bookings that were both completely and frustratingly avoidable.

The defender picked up his first yellow of a forgettable afternoon when he blocked Joe Hart’s goal kick before a late foul on James Milner sealed the defender’s fate before the first half had even ended.

Van Gaal seemed less than impressed with his defender when speaking to Sky Sports after the match had ended.

“As a player when you have a yellow you have to deal with that. You can’t do what he has done. That’s not very smart.”

The red card turned the game in City’s favour after the first half an hour had been fairly even, United passed the ball around confidently and Marouane Fellani in particular was finding plenty of room between City’s defence and midfield.

But a reshuffle was necessary with the team down to ten players. Michael Carrick came on for his first appearance of the season which meant Fellaini had to drop deeper to aid Daley Blind who had also picked up a booking in the first half.

A wave of pressure in the second half eventually saw Sergio Aguero score the deciding goal but supporters will feel their side could have rescued something from the game with all eleven men on the pitch.

Image: Twitter/manutd

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