Manchester United were beaten 3-0 by Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday - conceding three goals in six second-half minutes - and Louis van Gaal was bitterly disappointed by the result. Here is what he had to say in his post-match interviews with Sky Sports and MUTV...
Could such a result have been predicted at half-time when the score was goalless? “No, until the first goal, we were at least the equal team and the better chance was for us with [Anthony] Martial. It was a big chance, with a big space and a big time for him, but we gave the goal away with miscommunication and then you know what happened next. Within five minutes, we were out of the game.”
Did United’s defence struggle to clear their minds after conceding the first goal? “You don’t clear your head and I think that is strongly expressed, because the second goal is a set-play and our best header [Chris Smalling], or one of our best headers, lost his duel and it was a fantastic header from [Toby] Alderweireld. But it is happening and it cannot happen. That is also what I said to him.”
What was the thinking behind Ashley Young’s half-time introduction up front? “I wanted more running in behind because, in the first half, we didn’t have an attacking point and that is the reason.”
How big a blow is this in the race for fourth? “Every team can lose to everybody so we are still in the race but, of course, when you lose a game you have to close the gap again and that is difficult.”
Was the manner of the defeat the biggest disappointment? “I don’t think so because I think Tottenham is a great team and I have said that also in advance of this match. But, until the first goal, I think we were a good team who were playing good in Tottenham and we also had a big chance for a goal, so you cannot say the way that we have lost... Yes 3-0 is a big negative result but the way that we have played until the first goal was good."
How is Tim Fosu-Mensah after picking up an injury when playing superbly? "Yeah, he did his job very well but he is injured and he has to go out and that's a pity for the team. But it was a very difficult selection for him because I could also have chosen Matteo Darmian and I cannot think that a consequence of Timothy’s injury is a 3-0 defeat, I don’t believe in that."
Did the traffic problems leading to the delayed kick-off have an impact? "No I don’t think so. In the first 20 minutes, we were the better team, I believe. So, I don’t believe in that neither. There is no excuse for that, I believe."