Van Gaal bemoans poor finishing

by Richard Laverty

Louis van Gaal has bemoaned the lack of goals scored by his Manchester United side lately and wants his strikers to step up.

Whilst the 3-5-2 system currently employed by Van Gaal is making United defensively solid, it is hindering attacks and meant they failed to register a single shot on target against Southampton.

Yet before Christmas, the team scored 13 goals during a period where they recorded six wins in a row, including two goals at both Arsenal and Southampton and a 3-0 win against rivals Liverpool.

Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie were in good form whilst Radamel Falcao scored twice over Christmas but the trio have failed to strike between them in the last four games.

Despite that, United have only conceded once in those four matches but and Van Gaal is frustrated by teams putting ten men behind the ball against his side.

“We have to play against teams who make the space very narrow, defending with 10 men behind the ball,” Van Gaal said.

“It’s true that we have not created too many in the last two or three matches, but therefore I have changed the system. We have to play more quickly because our opponents are defending and make a small space, so it’s difficult then to attack. Everybody knows that but we also need a little bit of luck and we have to finish the chances.”

Despite a lack of goals, United have created enough chances to win games. Falcao was twice denied by Robert Green against QPR and despite no shots on target, Juan Mata wasted two superb chances in the defeat against Southampton. Last weekend, Van Persie blazed over and United were denied by a string of good saves from Cambridge goalkeeper Chris Dunn.

Whilst Van Gaal will want to see more creativity from the likes of Mata and Di Maria, he’ll also want to see his top strikers start putting their chances away.

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