• United can’t be shackled – Van Gaal

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    MANCHESTER, UK: Louis van Gaal claims Manchester United will not be shackled at Old Trafford after they kept their patience to grind out a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.

    Van Gaal’s side have found goals hard to come by of late and they initially found it difficult to break down an Albion team that defended in numbers.

    But Albion’s plan was shattered seven minutes into the second half on Saturday when Jesse Lingard scored his first United goal to break the deadlock.

    Juan Mata wrapped up the points for United with a stoppage-time penalty after defender Gareth McAuley had been sent off for bringing down Anthony Martial.

    And van Gaal insisted United’s victory, which followed a 1-0 midweek success against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, might change how opposition managers view trips to Old Trafford.

    “We have to attack better against these defensive organizations but it is the most difficult way you can play as a team,” van Gaal said.

    “But it is good we have won because the next manager shall not choose so easily this strategy.

    “We have also won against CSKA Moscow and they have the same strategy. It is good we send a signal that you can do that but you lose.

    “We have won a very difficult game. Last year we lost against this opponent and probably because of that Tony Pulis chooses this strategy again. Now we have won and so we are improving.”

    United has still scored just once from open play in their last four domestic fixtures and there remains a question mark about their attacking intent, a short-coming recently criticised by former United midfielder Paul Scholes.

    And van Gaal concedes United’s attacking play must be fine-tuned if they are to overhaul Manchester City and Arsenal, who are both a point ahead of the Old Trafford outfit before they both play on Sunday (Monday in Manila).

    AFP

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