Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has criticised his players after they were held to 3-3 draw by English Premier League (EPL) strugglers Newcastle United.
United led 2-0 at half-time, but Newcastle produced a splendid comeback to snatch a point in front of their home fans on Tuesday. The result saw United slip one spot to sixth in the EPL ladder with 34 points from 21 matches.
“We have only ourselves to blame because we could have won this match. We missed big chances to win it. We were the better team. We have scored three goals but only have one point. So now is the defence weak? No. We were unlucky in decisions of the referee and a deflected shot and we did not finish our chances,” van Gaal was quoted as saying by the British media on Tuesday.
United’s inability to finish off the game means they now have just one win from their last eight EPL matches and van Gaal admitted that he is frustrated with his players.
“Of course, it feels like a defeat — we are very disappointed, we’ve lost very expensive points. We have given it away,” the 64-year-old Dutchman said.
“We were the better team, and that is why it is very frustrating that we lose very expensive points. We could have made six goals, I think. There were big possibilities. When you lose two points it’s very, very sad . Everybody knows it’s our own fault, not the referee or opponents.
“I am very disappointed. We are very disappointed. We could have finished the match much earlier, Lingard, Fellaini… but we didn’t do that. I have said that to the players,” he added.
“We have scored three goals and got one point. We have to score one more than the opponent and we didn’t do that.”
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager also praised Newcastle for their aggressive approach, adding that it is refreshing to see an EPL team go on the attack against United instead of sitting back in defence.
“Newcastle only wanted to attack. You see two teams who want to attack. We saw a fantastic game tonight,” he said.
“Newcastle was attacking. That is the difference. I say that all the time. You doubt my words. When you see two teams wanting to attack you can see a game like today. Only one team (Manchester United’s opponents) wants to waste time and frustrate opponents,” he added.