Back to school: Van Gaal demands Man Utd sharpen up their act

Louis van Gaal has insisted his Manchester United side must ‘get smart’ following their FA Cup exit at the hands of Arsenal.

Former United forward Danny Welbeck’s second-half strike secured a 2-1 triumph for the Gunners in an enthralling Old Trafford encounter, while Angel Di Maria saw red for a dive then bizarre shirt grab on referee Michael Oliver.

And Van Gaal conceded that his side – especially the Argentinian – needed to sharpen up.

“It’s very disappointing when you don’t lose from your opponent, you have lost from yourself,” said the Dutchman.

“That’s very disappointing and that’s also why the players are very disappointed. You know that it could be different.

“We all know and Angel Di Maria knows that he doesn’t have to touch the referee. That is not so smart of him.

“Emotion is not so easy in such a match but we were not smart enough and this must be improved if we are to win.”

Arsene Wenger’s side took the lead when Nacho Monreal hammered-home from close-range following Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s stunning solo run.

However, the hosts rallied and were level soon after when Wayne Rooney latched onto Di Maria’s pinpoint cross to head powerfully beyond Wojciech Szczesny.

Both ‘keepers were in fine form as the second-half kicked-off in thrilling fashion, but Arsenal retook the lead when Welbeck rounded David De Gea before finishing coolly.

“Of course, a match will be decided by goals. This match has been decided by goals and when you see the second goal, it was nothing,” added Van Gaal.

“I think always a negative result is a big blow for us but we have to recover, we are sportsman.

“But I cannot say that the motivation of my team was bad. It’s always good and today again we showed fighting spirit.

“It happens in football. It was a surprise Wenger put him [Welbeck] in the line-up in that position. He was very motivated but I think we gave that goal away.”

Main image courtesy of MUTV via YouTube, with thanks.

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