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LVG blames United’s attitude

Leicester vs Manchester UnitedLouis Van Gaal has criticised his Manchester United squad for committing “big errors as a team” and allowing Leicester City to turn a 3-1 defeat into a 5-3 success, United’s second defeat in their opening five league games of the season.

Having been 2-0 ahead with less than 20 minutes played, United allowed Leicester back in the game almost immediately, before then stretching their lead to 3-1 with just over 30 minutes left, only to then collapse and concede four goals in less than 25 minutes, as Leicester ran riot.

“I have been 25 years in this profession, I have already thought that I have another experience like that – with Barcelona we were three goals ahead with a quarter to play and we lost 3-4, so that was also with a top club,” said Van Gaal.

“You never expect it when you are 3-1 ahead – for the second time [in the game] two goals ahead – then you have to kill the game and you have to keep possession. But we could not do that and then, of course, you give it away with penalties. Then you cannot win a game any more when you do that.”

The United manager refused to directly blame Mark Clattenburg for awarding Leicester’s first penalty, though he said that Rafael should have known better than to commit to a challenge in the box.

“For the first penalty it is always the referee [who you talk about] but you don’t have to do that as a player. You know you are in the penalty area and you allow the referee to whistle if you make a challenge. I don’t know if it is a penalty but we have to look at ourselves because we made such big errors as a team.”

United’s rearguard looked vulnerable throughout the afternoon, even more so after Jonny Evans limped off injured and Van Gaal admitted Leicester forwards’ tireless running caused United troubles.

“When you say their full-backs made more than our full-backs, that is the game,” Van Gaal said. “But I think they didn’t create many chances. They have, I think, shot five times on the goal, two penalties and a header and then two shots.”

The United manager, however, declined to lay the blame for the defeat solely at his defenders’ feet, suggesting the whole team was culpable for letting a result slip through their fingers.

“You cannot say the defence was weak,” he said. “You play like a team – Leicester showed that. We did not play like a team in the second half and that is not only in defence. In a defensive situation the whole team is responsible, not just one defender.”