Man United went into the game in good form but were shocked to concede three goals in the opening 20 minutes. Arsenal blew away van Gaal’s men, who were caught napping early on. It was a nightmare start for United and something they couldn’t recover from.
The game was over as a contest within 20 minutes and van Gaal criticised the display from his players.
United seemed to get more of a hold on the game in the second half but the manager blamed the slow start for the defeat.
Van Gaal said: “It was a very bad start, without aggression and the will to win. That is the first time I have seen that from my team. I did not expect that.”
United had been doing well recently and came into the game at the Emirates stadium optimistic of a positive result and van Gaal could not have imagined a performance like the one that was put on.
He added: “We have won our last four matches, I gave the players a day off because they were tired. On Saturday the training was normal, I was very amazed to see that.”
“All teams will have a dip.”
United now have to go into the international break lying in third position knowing that a win would have kept them top of the pile. It is almost a fortnight before the team will have the chance to bounce back from the defeat when they travel to Everton on the 17th October.
Van Gaal will want a response from his players when they return after a dismal showing in North London. They will have their work cut out at Goodison Park, a ground where United lost 3-0 last season, but that game is quickly starting to look like a must-win affair.