Louis van Gaal says Manchester United’s 3-3 draw with Newcastle United on Tuesday night felt like a defeat.
In a thrilling Premier League game, Wayne Rooney’s 79th minute strike appeared to have given the Red Devils all three points before Paul Dummett snatched a late equaliser for the Magpies.
Jesse Lingard and Marouane Fellaini missed chances to extend United’s lead when ahead and Van Gaal admits he was left frustrated at his side’s inability to kill off the game.
“It feels like a defeat,” said the United boss.
“We have given it away – I have told that to my players.
“We have scored three goals and have one point, nothing more. I have said in all my press conferences that you have to score one more than your opponent, we didn’t do that today.
“But we threw it away, we should have finished it much earlier. Lingard, Rooney and Fellaini could have finished it for us.
“They have to finish of course but it is always difficult. We could have scored six goals here, I think, there were big possibilities so when you then lose two points then that is very sad.”
United have been labelled ‘boring’ by pundits and fans following the majority of games this season but the performance against Newcastle was anything but dull.
Rooney’s early penalty and Lingard’s finish put United 2-0 up on 38 minutes before Georginio Wijnaldum and Aleksandar Mitrovic’s spot-kick levelled the scores.
The United captain’s superb 20-yard strike put the Red Devils back in front before Dummett’s late goal salvaged a point for Steve McClaren’s side.
Van Gaal was critical of referee Mike Dean’s decision to award Newcastle a penalty following Chris Smalling’s tussle with Mitrovic in the box but the Dutchman also claims the blame lies with his team and not the officials for the draw.
“The referee gives a penalty for nothing,” he said.
“The heavyweight wrestling between Mitrovic and Smalling, you can clearly see that he [Mitrovic] is pushing the head of Smalling to the ground.
“Then it is about heavyweight champions and who is the heavyweight champion at the end of it, and that was Smalling in his eyes – I cannot understand that.
“When you both do that you cannot decide which is worse, I think, but the referee did not lose our game. We lost it by ourselves.”
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