English Premiership

LVG defends use of Fellaini

2015-02-09 08:14
Marouane Fellaini (AFP)

London - Manchester United's under-performing forwards forced manager Louis van Gaal into adopting long-ball tactics, the Dutchman said after his side snatched a 1-1 draw at West Ham.

United started with Radamel Falcao, Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Angel di Maria and Adnan Januzaj at Upton Park on Sunday, but it took a stoppage-time volley from Daley Blind to earn the visitors a point after Cheikhou Kouyate had given West Ham a deserved 49th-minute lead.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce said United's strategy was "thump it forward and see what happens", and Van Gaal admitted that the introduction of gangly Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini as a 72nd-minute substitute had heralded a change of tack.

"I've done that already a lot of times with Fellaini, so that is not new," said Van Gaal, who lost Luke Shaw to a late red card after the United left-back received a second booking for a lunge at Stewart Downing.

"West Ham United should know that. But with him we have more power. With Adnan and Di Maria, we have more creative players.

"And that's why the second ball, you cannot always win with these players, but you have to win (it). Otherwise I have to line up always players like Fellaini."

Van Gaal claimed that United's failure to win the second ball had been their major failing, but the visitors also looked bereft of ideas when they did have possession.

Falcao squandered a good opportunity when he stabbed wide with only Adrian to beat, but aside from a couple of saves to deny Van Persie, the West Ham goalkeeper was scarcely troubled until Blind struck in the 92nd minute.

The Dutch utility player's goal was his second last-gasp equaliser of the season, after another late strike at West Bromwich Albion in October.

But while it preserved a run of unbeaten away matches stretching back to November 2, the draw represented a missed opportunity for United, who could have closed to within three points of second-place Manchester City in the Premier League table.

Asked if his side had squandered a chance to put pressure on City, who drew 1-1 with Hull City on Saturday, Van Gaal replied: "Yes. I'm agreeing with that before the game.

"You know what it is. They have lost points, then you can make a gap with your competitors. Now you don't make this gap, so it is a missed chance."


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Sunday, 24 February 2019
Chelsea v Brighton & Hove Albion, Stamford Bridge 14:00
Arsenal v Southampton, Emirates Stadium 16:05
Manchester United v Liverpool, Old Trafford 16:05
Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Cardiff City v Everton, Cardiff City Stadium 21:45
Leicester City v Brighton & Hove Albion, King Power Stadium 21:45
Huddersfield Town v Wolverhampton Wanderers, The John Smith's Stadium 21:45
Newcastle United v Burnley, St. James' Park 22:00
Wednesday, 27 February 2019
Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Southampton v Fulham, St. Mary's Stadium 21:45
Liverpool v Watford, Anfield 22:00
Manchester City v West Ham United, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Crystal Palace v Manchester United, Selhurst Park 22:00
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur, Stamford Bridge 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2018/19 season?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

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

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

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.