Van Gaal disappointed with derby draw but praises United’s concentration, focus & control


Following yesterday’s 0-0 derby-day draw with City, Louis Van Gaal was asked to give his verdict on the game. After a long, pregnant pause, he offered his thoughts.

“It was a very tough game. We were unlucky and they were lucky,” the manager said.

In a game that was broken up by a total of 30 fouls – one every 3 minutes on average – Van Gaal was impressed with United’s mental application: “90 minutes – concentration, focus. 90 minutes – control of the game.” Indeed, Gary Neville has written in his Telegraph column that “this was a game for the professional,” and, echoing Van Gaal’s words, argued that both teams displayed the qualities needed to succeed in Europe – “defending, concentration and focus.”

In terms of United’s ill fortune, the manager was adamant Herrera should have had a penalty after a trip by Raheem Stirling (Ander’s utterly incredulous reaction spoke for itself), but LVG accepted that the referee didn’t have the benefit of a replay.

Van Gaal confirmed that he was looking for more attacking emphasis in the second half – City were playing for the draw but United were going for the win; he described Lingard’s athletic effort that hit the bar as “remarkable,” but thought it was too difficult a chance to score.

Whilst there were definite positives from yesterday’s game, we didn’t get the result we wanted; “I said to the players “I’m very proud of you,” but we didn’t win, and that’s disappointing,” the manager concluded.

Listen to the full interview below: