Louis Van Gaal Blames 'Law of Murphy' for Manchester United Loss to Midtjylland

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Louis Van Gaal Blames 'Law of Murphy' for Manchester United Loss to Midtjylland
Jens Dresling/Associated Press

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal refused to blame a poor performance for his team's 2-1 defeat to FC Midtjylland in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League last-32 tie on Thursday.

Instead he named a lengthy injury list and the cruelty of fate as the chief culprits, per an interview with BT Sport (h/t Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News):

BT Sport provided the full discussion:  

Van Gaal was bemoaning an injury crisis that claimed goalkeeper David De Gea as its latest victim just moments before kick-off in Denmark, per the club

Van Gaal did offer an update on De Gea's status:

With the Spaniard missing, replacement Sergio Romero was beaten by Pione Sisto and substitute Paul Onuachu, despite producing some excellent saves. United's real problem was a lack of potency up front, bar Memphis Depay's important away goal.

While Van Gaal was reluctant to be critical of his players, he did accept the fans' right to lament United's current poor form, per Goal.com:

They are disappointed like we are disappointed. I'm very grateful for the fans supporting us. They want to win like we want to win, and we hope that at Old Trafford we will do it.

[...]

The fans can criticise. They can do it. When you see the second half, maybe they are right, but we have to improve and then those fans will support us again. We have seen that in the 18 months I have been here.

Criticism from outside is certainly growing as Van Gaal's position comes under increasing threat. While his side will likely still be fancied to do enough at Old Trafford to progress, United's performances are becoming more suspect with each game.

There's little creativity and industry in midfield and no verve up front, while injuries have ravaged what had been a pretty solid defence.

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