Updated: Saturday, 14th December 2019 @ 6:16pm

'Facts say we're better than last year': Defiant Van Gaal defends dismal Man Utd

'Facts say we're better than last year': Defiant Van Gaal defends dismal Man Utd

| By Adam Leah

Louis van Gaal insists Manchester United have shown improvement under his management despite crashing out of the Champions League on Tuesday night.

The 3-2 defeat to Wolfsburg means United finished third in Group B and drop into the Europa League, in spite of a more promising performance from his side.

It is only the fourth occasion the Red Devils have failed to progress from the group stages of Europe’s elite competition, but Van Gaal claims the ‘facts’ show that his side are on the right track with him as manager.

“At the moment, I cannot defend myself because we are out of the Champions League,” said the Dutchman.

“Every word that I say is the wrong word.

“But when you see the facts, we went further in the Capital One Cup, qualified for the Champions League group stage, we have played all these matches and are still in a very good position in the league.

“The facts say we are better than last year. That's my answer because I can only give facts. I'm also disappointed that we are out of the Champions League."

United went into the game needing a win to ensure they progressed to the last 16 of the competition and were ahead on 10 minutes through Anthony Martial’s opener.

Wolfsburg hit-back and led at the break however through goals from Naldo and Vieirinha.

Josuha Guilavogui’s own goal gave United hope with eight minutes remaining but Naldo’s second set-piece goal of the night two minutes later sealed the Reds’ fate.

Former United defender Rio Ferdinand branded United’s  performance in the competition as ‘embarrassing’ but Van Gaal insists the group was more difficult to progress from than people think.

“This was a tight group so I am not agreeing with any opinion that this was an easy group,” he said.

“I've said to the players, now it's over in the Champions League – you cannot show your qualities any more on the highest podium.

“It's a pity but we have a lot to fight for, the FA Cup and the Premier League.”

Image courtesy of BT Sport, via Youtube, with thanks