Manchester United beat Everton 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-final thanks to a late goal by Anthony Martial, but Louis van Gaal was far from satisfied after the match. The Dutchman criticized the referee, while also saying that Martial has room to improve.
Louis van Gaal’s managerial career at Manchester United received a substantial boost as the Red Devils make their way into their first FA Cup final since 2007. The Dutchman now has a realistic chance of winning his first piece of silverware at Old Trafford, which could ultimately help him keep his position at the club.
The former Ajax manager was far from satisfied after the match, however, questioning the decisions made by referee Anthony Taylor in the second half.
“In the second half, I think the referee changed the match,” said Van Gaal, according to Sky Sports.
“I think the penalty was OK, I don’t argue with that. I argue with all the 50-50 decisions went against us, and when you do that in a 10 or 15-minute period, you have a big influence on the game. After it went 1-1, we showed our mental spirit.”
Anthony Matial scored a late goal to prevent the game from going into extra-time, but Van Gaal stated that he still expects much more from the 20-year-old Frenchman.
“I still see a lot of things I think he can improve and he will improve because only by training and playing you can improve,” added the United manager.
A decade without the FA Cup
Manchester United have won England’s most prestigious cup competition 11 times in their storied history. The last time the Red Devils appeared in an FA Cup final was the 2006-07 season, where they narrowly lost out to Chelsea, and they last won the FA Cup in 2003-04 after beating Millwall 3-0.
12 years after that triumph, the Red Devils find themselves on the brink of winning the FA Cup once again. Van Gaal’s men will fancy themselves against their opponent in the final — be it Watford or Crystal Palace — and will be eager to win the club’s first major piece of silverware since the 2012-2013 Premier League title.
Louis van Gaal’s tenure at Old Trafford has been far from memorable and he will be hoping to claim the FA Cup as whispers of Jose Mourinho’s arrival grow progressively louder. The final at Wembley promises to be the biggest clash of this Manchester United season and could finally bring the FA Cup to Old Trafford after more than a decade.