Louis van Gaal hailed his side’s attacking display against West Ham United but said they “forgot to score goals” after a demoralising fourth 0-0 draw in their last six home matches on Saturday.
Manchester United had 21 attempts at West Ham’s goal at Old Trafford but just one of those was on target as the Reds again frustrated the home fans at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’.
“You can train every day on shooting at the goal and you have to know that we are doing that,” the Dutchman told reporters. “We put players in the position to score but you need composure and luck to score.
“The most important thing is that we are creating and we are dominant. Today, we were dominant and attacking, we were creating chances — only we forgot to score.”
With bitter rivals Manchester City losing 2-0 at Stoke City, United began against West Ham knowing a victory could have taken them top of the Premier League. They ended the day fourth on the log.
Despite dominating possession United, who were without the injured Wayne Rooney, had to wait until the 60th minute before West Ham’s keeper Adrian was eventually tested, saving Marouane Fellaini’s effort.
“I think that we played a very good match, it’s only we have to score,” he continued.
“You must score out of the kind of chances we created. You need to score, otherwise you cannot win, and it is very frustrating, also for the players because they want to score. We have to finish better than we did today.”
There were chants of discontent around the stadium and some mild booing at the final whistle after a fourth draw in United’s last six league games.
Their fans are used to the kind of free-flowing attacking football they enjoyed under Alex Ferguson and Van Gaal’s post-match comments would have been received with scepticism.
Asked if he could understand the fans’ frustrations, Van Gaal said: “Yes and no, because they can see that we fought until the end.
“There was a fantastic team spirit and we were dominant. We created many chances and you can only do that when you are attacking; we attacked much more than our opponents, who were defending in their square of 40 metres.
“That’s always difficult but we created a lot of chances. Yes, you have to score from those chances and we didn’t do that.”
Van Gaal’s critics will be out in force if they fail to score away to VfL Wolfsburg in the Champions League next week where only a victory will guarantee a place in the last 16.
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