Louis van Gaal has praised Manchester United’s patience after second-half goals from Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata saw off visitors West Brom.
United have been the subject of a lot of criticism due to a lack of attacking threat in recent weeks, and it looked to be a familiar story against the Baggies, until youngster Lingard showed composure beyond his 22 years to calmly side-foot the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
Juan Mata completed the 2-0 victory with an extra-time penalty, after Gareth McAuley had been sent off for hauling down Anthony Martial when the forward was clean through.
“Everybody knows who has played football that the most difficult way to score is against a very defensive team. The space is only at the wings and we have tried to do that,” Van Gaal said.
“The only way you can play against such a defensive, organised team is the way we do it, you need patience. In the second half West Brom are more tired and the chances come. The goal changed the game, we had more space. Then you can see the qualities of Anthony Martial, and we score the second goal out of his actions.”
Goalscorer Mata echoed the sentiments of his manager and insisted it is not possible to be gung-ho in every match.
“I think we played good football in the first half – in the second half we had problems. But it’s the perfect result going into the international break,” the Spaniard said.
“We knew they would come and defend and then look for Salomon Rondon on the counter. We were patient enough. Obviously we want to attack – sometimes you can’t because of the opponent.”
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