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Van Gaal explains Man United formation change

by Richard Laverty

Louis van Gaal has explained why he changed Manchester United’s formation in the second half against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

After another frustrating 45 minutes of football in the largely unpopular 3-5-2 system, United’s away fans could be heard chanting ‘4-4-2’ amid cries of ‘attack attack attack’ as the side once more failed to create many meaningful chances playing with three at the back.

Off the back of a home defeat where the system saw United fail to have a shot on target for the first time in five years at Old Trafford, Van Gaal decided to change the system for the second half against QPR.

After the match, the manager explained he decides every week how he will set his side up depending on the opposition.

Speaking after the game, he said: “I know in advance that when we play with four midfielders in a diamond that we create more chances, but then the balance of the team is also weak. And you’ve seen it because we had created chances but so had QPR. We have to decide every week how we have to play. And that’s the question.

“But also with the other system we played against Tottenham Hotspur, maybe you remember the first half we created maybe six or seven more chances than today, and we didn’t score. Last week we were the better team, but in football it is not always the better team who wins.

United eventually won thanks to goals from second half substitutes Marouane Fellaini and James Wilson but Van Gaal was disappointed with how his side played early on but glad the change of system did the trick.

He said: “In the first half we played like QPR wanted. We did the same thing as QPR, playing through the air, long balls, and QPR were better. In the second half we changed the shape and that helped also.”

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