Wednesday, 9 December 2015

VAN GAAL: MAN UTD ARE BETTER THAN LAST YEAR

Louis van Gaal insists Manchester United have improved since last season, despite being knocked out of the Champions League.

A 3-2 defeat to Wolfsburg in Germany, coupled with PSV's 2-1 win over CSKA Moscow, saw United drop into the Europa League, with the Eredivisie side joining the Germans in the knockouts.

But Van Gaal, whose side sit fourth in the Premier League having finished in the same position last season, believes United are a better side than last term.

"At the moment I cannot defend myself because we are out of the Champions League," said the Dutchman.

"But the facts say we are better than last year."

United were humiliated in the third round of last season's League Cup with a 4-0 defeat to League One MK Dons, while this term they were elminated in the fourth round by Championship outfit Middlesbrough.


"When you see the facts we went further in the Capital One Cup this season, qualified for the Champions League group," said 64-year-old Van Gaal.

"We have played all these matches and are still in a very good position in the league.

"But I'm disappointed that we are out of the Champions League."

After missing out on being drawn against tournament favourites, United were expected to comfortably qualify but Van Gaal dismissed suggestions it was a straightforward group.

"This was a tight group so I am not agreeing with any opinion that this was an easy group," he said.

The former Barca boss had seen his side concede just twice in the previous nine matches ahead of the trip to Wolfsburg, and he was left perplexed by United's shoddy defending.

The visitors saw Wolfsburg equalise moments after Anthony Martial's opener, before conceding the winner shortly after levelling the match at 2-2.

Van Gaal described the game as 'crazy' and hinted that Jese Lingaard's disallowed goal shortly before half-time may have been decisive.

"It was a crazy match," said Van Gaal.

"We didn't score many goals before and in an away match to score two goals, maybe three... but one was cancelled out.

"But twice you give away a goal within two minutes of scoring, that's difficult to understand when you defend so well normally."

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