Louis van Gaal claims Manchester United could have “played the ball more quickly” in their 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on 7 November, Saturday. Jess Lingard scored his first league goal before Juan Mata converted the penalty late in the second half.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager played the same starting XI, which started during their 1-0 victory over CSKA Moscow in the Champions League. The Dutchman admitted he had expected West Brom’s playing XI and was delighted with his side’s second half performance.
“I expected this line up [from West Brom] with the holding midfielder. They played with 10 men behind the ball and sometimes the striker was also defending, so I think we’ve done very well. I said at half-time that we had to continue and be patient, because the goal was coming,” Van Gaal told United’s official website.
“Every manager has the right to choose his strategy and we have to organise ourselves against that. We could have played the ball more quickly in the first half; in the second half I believe we did better, until the first goal, after which we forgot to continue to play football, Nevertheless, that changed the game.
“Goals are always the most important thing in a game but we’re still not giving many chances away, only Berahino’s header. We have won a difficult game that we lost last year. Because of that, [West Brom manager] Tony Pulis chose this strategy but now we have won and improved again.”
The 20-time English champions have now kept clean sheets in five consecutive matches played in all competitions. Van Gaal revealed United’s defence start from his player up front, with Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney.
“It would be better if we’d also kept one against Arsenal! It was a clean sheet today, and I’m very satisfied with our defensive organisation, but it starts with Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney and you’ve seen that today. They have pressed a lot and have had to run a lot because of that, but every player is doing that, so I’m a happy manager,” United manager explained.
Lingard ‘s impressive run continued as he opened the scoring for Red Devils against West Brom. United went on without scoring three games in all competitions after their 1-1 draw against CSKA Moscow in October. Van Gaal made changes to the side and as a part of that Lingard has featured in three matches played in all competitions after consecutive goalless draws.
“We played three games in a row without scoring a goal, though we had more than enough chances. That’s why you look for solutions and one of those was to bring Jesse into the team,” he added.