Louis van Gaal was happy with much of Manchester United’s display at Chelsea but the loss of another late goal and two more points left the manager frustrated.
United led at Stamford Bridge until the first minute of added time when Diego Costa capitalised on Daley Blind’s slip to equalise at the second attempt after Cameron Borthwick-Jackson had blocked his first effort.
The draw left United in fifth place, six points off Manchester City in fourth, with Van Gaal annoyed at wasting an opportunity to close on the Champions League places, with the top four all facing each other next weekend.
“That’s why I’m frustrated and my players are, too, in the dressing room,” Van Gaal said. “When you have played as well as we did today and you are not making the gap smaller … It isn’t a lack of concentration. It is not being composed when you are defending.
“When we have the ball we have to keep the ball and you have to give the right pass at the right moment. We didn’t do that.
“You can say it’s misfortune but that’s not the first time it’s happened to us. At Newcastle last month it was also in added time [that the hosts equalised to make it 3-3]. We have to do better. We have to improve in that way but I’m happy with the performance. It’s frustrating.
“But it’s not a big disappointment because we played a very good match until the last quarter, I think. So it is more frustrating that they scored in added time and how they scored because Daley Blind was slipping, more or less.
“It is a pity because we had the chance to score more goals. We controlled the game even though the level of the individual players is very high in Chelsea, and Manchester United haven’t won here for three years, so it is not so easy. But it is better than last year. We played better than Chelsea also last year but they won 1-0. Now it is 1-1. So we improved, and it was not a ‘boring’ match. So, for the third time in a row, it was ‘sparkling’”.