Louis van Gaal asked his players why they were not shooting from outside of the box at half-time of Manchester United’s 0-0 draw against Manchester City.
The first shot on target at Old Trafford on Sunday did not arrive until the 82nd minute, with Van Gaal putting his side’s failure to create clear-cut chances at least in part down to a defensive display from Manchester City.
However, with City sat deep, the Dutchman was frustrated by his players’ reluctance to try their luck from distance.
He said: “We know didn’t create so many chances because it is difficult how they have played, so organised so on the counter-attack and that is like the game against Moscow, the same, also organised but it says something about the strength of Manchester United these days.
“But I have said at half-time we can also shoot from outside the box, you don’t have to combine in 16-metre area. Try your luck that way. That was my remark, you can shoot from outside the box. Now you can shoot, why you don’t shoot?
“I am disappointed, but I cannot complain. I am very proud of my players. When you can do that after playing in the Champions League, I know they were playing also but we were playing the game in Moscow, and you play 90 minutes, you are concentrated, focused, like we have showed, then I am very proud but we are still two points behind (City went top). It is disappointing.”
Van Gaal refused to answer questions about Wayne Rooney after a performance which saw the United captain touch the ball less than any other United outfield starter yet lose the ball five times more than the next worst culprit.
“I have to talk every week about Rooney, why?” the United manager said.
“You have your opinion – write it. I don’t give any more answers about Wayne Rooney. I am sick of them.”
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