Van Gaal raps United’s lack of creativity

Juan Mata celebrates putting Manchester United ahead at Sunderland
Juan Mata celebrates putting Manchester United ahead at Sunderland
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LOUIS van Gaal bemoaned his Manchester United side’s lack of creativity after yesterday’s 1-1 Stadium of Light draw with Sunderland.

Jack Rodwell’s 30th-minute header from Seb Larsson’s corner earned the Black Cats a point after Juan Mata had earlier put United ahead.

The Red Devils had more of the ball, but managed just three shots on target as van Gaal drew his first away match as a Premier League manager.

Afterwards, the Dutchman criticised his team’s inability to create chances, particularly in a second half he felt his side “dominated” in terms of possession.

Van Gaal said: “In the first half, we played an equal match with Sunderland.

“We didn’t create much other than the first goal, which was fantastic.

“We have already warned our players not to give set-pieces away and we gave a lot away; then they scored from one, which was disappointing.

“In the second half, we were dominating, but you need creative passing in the last third, and that was not so good.

“We were dominating without creating chances, and that is the purpose of the game.

“We missed too many passes – it was either too slow or too hasty, and then you lose the ball and the tempo is gone from the game.

“That, in my opinion, was the reason (for not winning).

“We probably had more ball possession and were more dominant than the last match (a 2-1 opening day home loss to Swansea City), but you have to win your game at that moment and we couldn’t, so that’s a pity.”

Van Gaal also felt United were unlucky not to receive two penalties after having two strong appeals waved away in the second half.

Robin van Persie and Ashley Young’s appeals were turned down, with the latter shown a yellow card for his tumble in the box.

Van Gaal added: “I have seen the images on camera, and some referees would have whistled for a penalty.

“Van Persie and Young were touched by an opponent, and when you do that, you can expect that the referee shall whistle. (Yesterday) he didn’t.

“What I have seen, it is a little bit exaggerated (by Young), but that is not the point.

“The point is, has he been touched by the opponent? In my opinion, it is ‘yes’.

“Nevertheless, we need to be creating more chances, rather than just relying on penalties.”