. The Manchester United manager suffered his first loss this season, as United conceded their first goals of the campaign. Van Gaal was disappointed by his teams inability to break Swansea down, as United squandered opportunities.
Possession without penetration characterised another display by Manchester United at the Liberty. Finding themselves ahead initially, Manchester United were unable to cope with Swansea’s change in personnel and tactics, as familiar lapses in concentration proved the bane of Manchester United’s game play.
Despite failing to control the game for large stages, Swansea proved the more effective team, as they took advantage of the two opportunities they got in a space of just six minutes.
Van Gaal rues inability to cope with changes
Louis van Gaal’s philosophy relies heavily on ball possession. What this essentially does, is give the ability (to the team in possesion) to dictate the flow of the game. While Manchester United achieved the former, the latter is what continues to evade them, as they have little to show for their ball retention.
“The dominant role we had, we lost in that five minutes” answered the Dutchman in his post-match interview, when asked where it all went wrong for Manchester United. The visitors did assert their dominance, all the way up to Juan Mata’s goal in the 54th minute, controlling, possession and creating chances. Louis van Gaal’s side were more productive in the final third, yet squandered too many opportunities in the opposition half, hurting them dearly when Swansea eventually took the lead.
“It’s always difficult to beat a compact team” said the manager in reference to Swansea City. The Dutchman credited the Swans for having the ability to change up tactics after conceding. Ironically though, Van Gaal could’ve learned from his own admiration as United remained stagnant and without a spark, even when they lost the lead and found themselves behind.
Monk admits to enjoying facing Manchester United
Garry Monk has now made it three wins in three games against Louis van Gaal, doing so by the same scoreline each time. Despite attacker Jefferson Montero being injured before the game, Monk named a balanced side heading into the tie, mixing strength, pace, and agility.
“We had the best chances in the game, and we showed great character” said Garry Monk in reference to his side’s winning performance, as quoted by the club’s official website. Admitting that Swansea did not perhaps play their best football, Garry Monk touched upon the belief and character his players showed, citing how that’s always the best plan, when the team aren’t performing to their potential.
The character shown by Swansea’s players, Ayew and Gomis in particular, is no doubt a natural off shoot from the ambition and belief that Garry Monk as a manager exudes. In relation to his sides ability, the manager re-iterated, “We’re a good team, we’re a force in this league and when we’re on it and playing our best football, we can be unbelievable”.
Garry Monks’ comments after the match, and his decisions during it, exhibited exactly what Manchester untied could do with- Character, Belief and the will to be bold and break the mould. Garry Monk masterminded Van Gaal for a third successive time, using simple principles and philosophies that did Manchester Untied in each time. Effective substitutions, defensive shape and attacking impetus all characterized Swansea’s success, serving also to highlight Manchester United’s shortcomings, in contrast.