Champions League

Herrera: Defence wins championships

2015-11-05 17:55
Ander Herrera (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Ander Herrera believes Manchester United's defensive solidity more than makes up for a lack of creativity but is unlikely to have pleased fans by comparing his team to last season's title winners Chelsea.

United, who are fourth in the Premier League, have scored 15 times in 11 games, 11 goals fewer than leaders Manchester City.

While United kept their fifth clean sheet in six games in Tuesday's 1-0 Champions League win over CSKA Moscow, Wayne Rooney's winner was the first goal they had scored in 404 minutes of football.

Manager Louis van Gaal's side have the joint-stingiest defence in the English top flight this season, having conceded just eight goals so far, the same as second-placed Arsenal.

Herrera said great seasons were built on solid foundations and cited Chelsea's romp to the title last season when they conceded 32 goals and kept 17 clean sheets, scoring 10 fewer goals than runners-up Manchester City.

"It's a positive that we're not conceding goals. We saw it last year with Chelsea. I don't think they scored too many goals, but they didn't concede many either," Herrera told his club's website (

"That's important when you want to have a great season, you can't give away many chances," said the Spaniard.

Former United midfielder Paul Scholes has been one of the most strident critics of Van Gaal's United, but midfielder Michael Carrick gave suggestions that his side were "boring" the brush off.

"There are so many opinions out there. If you start worrying about what people are saying about you on television or in the papers then you are in trouble," the England international was quoted as saying by the British media.

"For me, what he (Scholes) said doesn't bother me. I have respect for Scholesy and that isn't going to change.

"There's nothing wrong with those comments. You have to take the rough with the smooth and if you accept the pats on the back then you have to accept the criticism when it comes."

Fans made their feelings about United's tactics loud and clear on Tuesday, jeering Van Gaal's decision to substitute forward Anthony Martial and bring on midfielder Marouane Fellaini after 65 minutes.

The Dutchman said after the game he was fully aware of the reaction but maintained his decision had proved correct after Rooney grabbed the winner 15 minutes later.

United are four points behind City and Arsenal in the league and host 12th placed West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Tuesday, 13 February 2018
Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur, Allianz Stadium 21:45
Basel v Manchester City, St. Jakob-Park 21:45
Wednesday, 14 February 2018
Porto v Liverpool, Estadio Do Dragao 21:45
Real Madrid v PSG, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Tuesday, 20 February 2018
Bayern Munchen v Besiktas, Allianz-Arena 21:45
Chelsea v Barcelona, Stamford Bridge 21:45
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
Sevilla v Manchester United, Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Shakhtar Donetsk v Roma, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:45
Tuesday, 06 March 2018
Liverpool v Porto, Anfield 21:45
PSG v Real Madrid, Parc des Princes 21:45
Wednesday, 07 March 2018
Manchester City v Basel, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Juventus, Wembley Stadium 21:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Which English Premier League club will progress furthest in this season's Champions League?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.