Manchester United vs. Arsenal: Louis van Gaal, Arsene Wenger Post-Match Reaction

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2016

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 28:  Arsene Wenger (R), Manager of Arsenal walks back to the dressing rooms with Louis van Gaal, Manager of Manchester United after the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on February 28, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted to being "bitter" about his side's 3-2 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, a result that has damaged the Gunners' Premier League title bid.

Wenger also dismissed the idea his team should have won against a patchwork United starting XI made up of fringe youngsters, including two-goal teenage striker Marcus Rashford.

But Red Devils chief Louis van Gaal chose to focus on how well his youngsters performed, and their role in emphasising United's core philosophy. The Dutchman also sought to make amends after his comic touchline outburst aimed at the match officials during the second half.

Van Gaal hit the deck to make a point.
Van Gaal hit the deck to make a point.Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Van Gaal had deliberately taken a tumble when trying to convince officials Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez was diving, per James Olley of the London Evening Standard.

The United gaffer confirmed he had apologised for the incident, per BBC Sport's Simon Stone:

But Wenger stayed away from the issue, lest he be called a poor loser, a charge he then accepted and confirmed, according to Joe Prince-Wright of NBC Sports:

Wenger also said that although United had to refresh their ranks, the ample amounts of money the Manchester club has spent in recent summers was still obvious, per ESPN's Miguel Delaney:

With Juan Mata, Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis Depay and goalscorer Ander Herrera on the pitch, Wenger had a point, though not one that excused his own side's dismal efforts.

His edgy mood was obvious in his manner, at least according to Delaney:

But while the Frenchman was downbeat, he tried to issue a rallying cry about the remainder of Arsenal's season and their title chances, per Stone:

The Gunners boss is likely to struggle to find many to endorse his view that third-placed Arsenal are still viable contenders after this defeat. But few will question his judgement of Rashford's impact.

Van Gaal believes giving a youngster like the 18-year-old forward a chance is essential to being in charge at Old Trafford:

In this respect, Van Gaal has insisted his own principles match those of United:

That philosophy was reaffirmed by the introduction of another teenager, 18-year-old defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who entered the fray as a second-half substitute. Van Gaal was suitably impressed with the youngster, per the club's official site:

Most of all, though, Van Gaal was pleased with how his side controlled a team he felt created more against more illustrious opposition, per Delaney:

While Van Gaal can revel in a very welcome league win, Wenger is left to angrily sift through the wreckage of what is looking increasingly like yet another failed title bid. 

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