Manchester United Can’t Challenge For Title, Says Louis Van Gaal


Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal has apparently ruled his team out of the Premier League title race. After a remarkable six-game winning streak, the Red Devils stumbled against Aston Villa yesterday, drawing 1-1.

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  • Van Gaal experienced a very difficult start to life in the Premiership this season, giving himself an uphill climb after dropping many points during his first few games in charge of the club. He actually started worse than David Moyes did last term, but he has taken his squad back into a healthy position, and a top-four finish seems increasingly likely.

    Although ravaged by injuries, United have managed to string a few victories together to take them into third place, but just one point above in-form West Ham. They have star goalkeeper David De Gea to thank, the Spaniard’s heroics have kept his team in the hunt, and he is arguably the main reason for their quick ascent up the rankings.

    Now only seven points behind both leaders Chelsea (who have a game in hand) and second-placed Manchester City, Van Gaal has already conceded defeat, although it is way too early.

    A stubborn Aston Villa were able to hold Manchester United to a draw at Villa Park. While the Red Devils dominated possession, putting nine shots on target, as opposed to Villa’s four, a moment of sheer brilliance from Christian Benteke would give the Villans a 1-0 lead on 18 minutes.

    The striker chested down a lofted ball from Fabian Delph, made a few yards of space for himself —  while making United defender Johnny Evans look stupid in the process — and curled a splendid shot into the top right corner of the goal, giving De Gea no chance to react.

    Radamel Falcao, Louis Van Gaal and Daley Blind – Flickr Creative Commons

    United would answer with an early second-half goal from Radamel Falcao, but that was as far as they could get. Even when Villa went down to ten men — after Gabriel Agbonlahor was shown a straight red for a foul on Ashley Young — they were able to withstand the pressure and preserve a point in the end.

    Van Gaal was admittedly frustrated by the draw, and seems to think that he will not be able to challenge for the title this season.

    "“We drop two points but we were the better team. That’s frustrating when you’re better and you don’t win. When you want to be a part of the title race, you have to win these games.”“I think also that we were not so aggressive in first half as we are usual, we kept the ball much better, but we didn’t create so much because we were not looking to the forwards. That’s why I changed Fletcher for Carrick, because I know he’s more a passer to the forwards.”-Lous Van GaalSource: Espnfc"

    When asked if Manchester United could challenge for the title, he said:

    "“No. You have seen you have to win these matches. We didn’t win. But it is still a long time to go. Chelsea have to go to Stoke. It’s not easy.”Source: Espnfc"

    I doubt Van Gaal really believes that; in third place with almost five months to go, no one should be ruling their team out, but it would take a minor miracle to see them hold the trophy in May.

    Next: Stoke City vs Chelsea FC. Who comes out on top?