After his team suffered their third defeat consecutive loss courtesy of West Brom, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal admits that his team needs to improve to have a better shot at qualifying for next year’s Champions League.
“It’s what you expected already before the game,” van Gaal said during the post-game press conference. “They parked the bus and then it’s always difficult to attack because you have a lot of bodies in front of you. But we have to improve. We have to improve in finishing.”
United secured most of the ball possessions in the match, but they were never able to break through the defence set up by the Baggies. The closest that the Red Devils got was with winger Ashley Young, who managed to get through the marker and fired the ball towards the goal. Unfortunately for United, Young’s teammate Robin van Persie accidentally blocked and deflected the shot.
Van Persie also seemed to be unlucky that night, as he also missed a crucial penalty shot that would have equalized the match for United.
Conversely, West Brom was in top form during the match, with Tony Pulis’ squad being disciplined and well-composed. However, they had to wait patiently for the second half, where left wing Chris Brunt’s free kick got a lucky boost after hitting teammate Jonas Olsson and flying past United goalkeeper David De Gea.
“We organised it to stop them breaking on us but one free kick and a deflected goal against us and, for all the possession in the second half, we were blowing in the wind,” van Gaal said of the outcome of the match.
The United boss also admitted that there is also the possibility of them losing the top qualifying spot for next season’s Champions League. “It’s now in the hands of my players. We have to work very hard to keep their confidence up because we have everything in our own hands,” van Gaal remarked.