Van Gaal: The second half was a struggle for life

by Sam Peoples

Louis van Gaal suggested Manchester United’s two games in two days took its toll on the second half for both teams after an end-to-end first 45 minutes.

United had plenty of chances before and after the break to grab all three points with Robin van Persie and Juan Mata the main culprits.

Van Gaal suggested the first half was the best his side had played this season but the second half was a ‘struggle’ given United had played less than 48 hours before the Spurs match.

“We lost two points I think,” the manager explained afterwards. “We had the best performance of Manchester United’s season in the first half, we could have scored four or five goals I think, but we didn’t reward ourselves. In the second half, it was more of a struggle than football.”

Due to injuries van Gaal had little option but to play the exact same eleven that started the Newcastle match, the first time the club had done so in over two years in the Premier League.

Luke Shaw returned to the bench but Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo were still missing and the manager says his players couldn’t recover.

“You could see that the players could not recover in two days. It was an ugly match. In the first half we played very well, but when you do not score goals then you cannot win. I said already before the matches, it is the culture of England [to play twice in 48 hours]. I think the human body cannot recover with 48 hours and in the second half it was a struggle.

On another day it could have been eight wins from nine but it was a positive performance given some of United’s recent away performances in the league.

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