Former Arsenal forward Thierry Henry believes Sunday’s 1-0 loss against West Bromwich Albion is a “massive setback” for Manchester United’s ambitions to finish in the top four of the Premier League.
Juan Mata was dismissed after just 26 minutes at The Hawthorns following two yellow cards in quick succession.
Being a man down left Man United with an uphill task and they eventually succumbed to defeat thanks to Solomon Rondon’s winner.
“It is a massive setback,” Henry said.
”As you can see, he [Van Gaal] is upset at the sending-off of Juan Mata and the goal they conceded was not because they were down to 10 men, they could have defended that a bit better. They had a lot of possession, they arrived here on a high, but they are still in the mix. They played a lot of games and it was always going to be difficult here, but it is a blow.”
Playing over an hour with ten men was always going to be difficult for United but they weren’t helped by some subpar individual performances and bizarre substitutions by Louis van Gaal.
The likes of Michael Carrick and Matteo Darmian will be disappointed with their displays, while van Gaal chose to remove the forward-thinking Ander Herrera for Morgan Schneiderlin as well as refusing to put Marouane Fellaini up top with United chasing the game late on. As a result, finishing in the top four now looks extremely unlikely.