Van Gaal: United as good as Liverpool at Anfield

Date published: Friday 18th March 2016 10:31

Louis van Gaal claims Manchester United were as good in the second leg of their Europa League tie against Liverpool as their opponents were in the first.

United suffered Europa League defeat at the hands of Liverpool on Thursday evening, drawing 1-1 but losing 3-1 on aggregate after a 2-0 first-leg defeat.

The hosts were improved after being comprehensively beaten at Anfield a week before, taking the lead through Anthony Martial in the first half.

But Philippe Coutinho leveled the game with an excellent individual effort just before half-time, effectively ending the tie as a contest. Here are 16 Conclusions.

Speaking after the game, Van Gaal praised his players for a performance which he believed matched Liverpool’s first-leg dominance.

“We played, I think, like Liverpool did play in their home match,” he added. “We have created a lot of chances.

“In the first half we scored the penalty and [Jesse] Lingard, [Juan] Mata, [Marouane] Fellaini, Martial [all missed chances] and then you concede one goal in the last seconds [of the half].

“They scored the away goal, that’s what we did not do in Liverpool. That was the difference.

“We also played West Ham United and we were 1-0 behind and again had to give everything.

“We had to recover then and Liverpool have a week free – that’s a big difference and you could see that in the last 15 minutes.”

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