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Van Gaal: Mata and Rooney were rested

by Sam Peoples

Louis van Gaal left Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata out of Manchester United’s squad to face Cambridge United in order to give both players a rest.

In their absence, Man United still had a very strong squad and after the introduction of Ander Herrera and Robin van Persie it was effectively a full strength side.

Yet, despite having a team filled with quality, Man United’s performance was absolutely abysmal. They may have had 80% possession in the second half but they posed very little threat to the League Two side’s goal until a late flurry drew some saves from Cambridge’s goalkeeper.

As it happens, Man United could really have done with either Rooney or Mata in midfield because there was a distinct lack of penetration in the final third. United had plenty of the ball but failed to use it well and Cambridge earned a replay off the back of a strong and disciplined defensive performance.

Cambridge 0-0 Man United: Read the full match report here

United’s next game is a home tie against Leicester City and Van Gaal’s side will be under some pressure to put in a much stronger performance.

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