Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal cut a frustrated figure after his team lost 1-0 at home to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday...
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal cut a frustrated figure after his team lost 1-0 at home to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, their third successive defeat in the Premier League.
The optimism engendered by victories over Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Manchester City has been dispelled by defeats to Chelsea, Everton and West Brom and United’s hopes of finishing fourth are again hanging in the balance.
“We knew in advance that they’d park the bus, we have to deal with that,” Van Gaal told the BBC.
“In the second half we had enough chances, you have to finish. It’s now the third match. We have to take care of that.”
United dominated possession against West Brom but rarely looked like scoring at a subdued Old Trafford and they remained fourth in the table, four points above fifth-placed Liverpool with three games left.
The visitors struck after 63 minutes when Chris Brunt’s free kick was fortunately deflected in by team mate Jonas Olsson.
United’s Robin van Persie then had a penalty saved before inspired West Brom goalkeeper Boaz Myhill stood firm in the face of late pressure from the hosts.
“The players are very disappointed and the manager is disappointed,” Van Gaal said. “We have to evaluate what we are doing bad and what we are doing good and how we can improve.”
West Brom are 13th with 40 points and virtually guaranteed to avoid the drop.
“You need to be organised, resilient and have a bit of luck. We had that in abundance,” said manager Tony Pulis.
“It takes a lot of work and commitment from the players, 90 percent of it is dealing with people off the ball.
“I don’t think it was a penalty. The referee was 60 yards away, the linesman was 10 yards away and gives a corner, so I don’t know how that happens.”