Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has insisted that the race for the top four is not over despite another setback, as the Reds were beaten 3-0 by Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.
It all seemed to be going reasonably well for United in North London. That was until the impressive Timothy Fosu-Mensah left the field injured, and the away side were stunned by three incisive goals in the last 20 minutes, which left van Gaal scratching his head and once again left to answer for another United disappointment.
Goals from Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld , and Erik Lamela quickly took the game away from United, who rarely threatened up top with van Gaal questionably deploying Ashley Young as a lone striker.
Van Gaal not so disappointed
Despite the defeat, van Gaal, as ever, remains defiant that his side can overturn the now four-point gap behind Manchester City.
The Dutchman said in his post-match interview: “Every team can lose to everybody so we are still in the race, but of course when you lose a game you have to close the gap again and that is difficult.”
The United boss was quick to state that he thought the Reds had played well, despite only managing one shot on target all game, and felt the result did not reflect United’s performance.
Van Gaal said United "were a good team, playing good in Tottenham and we also had a big chance for a goal [a shot from Anthony Martial]."
The Dutchman rued the chance missed by Martial after the Frenchman jinked inside multiple Spurs players to fire straight at Hugo Lloris. The United boss also felt a defensive miscommunication was what led to the home side's opening goal.
He then added:“Yes 3-0 is a big negative result but the way that we have played up until the first goal was good.”
United have to put defeat behind them
The Reds will have to dust themselves off quickly, as they prepare for an FA Cup quarter-final replay with West Ham United next week. A match van Gaal must win if he is to once again reduce the pressure on his managerial position.