Manchester United's five worst performances under Louis van Gaal
Published 23/05/2016 | 09:26
Louis van Gaal looks certain to leave his position as Manchester United manager, paying the price for a disappointing second season at Old Trafford.
Here, we look at five of his worst games in charge of the club
1) MK Dons 4 Manchester United 0 (Capital One Cup, August 26, 2014)
Ed Woodward has a picture of the scoreboard from United's 2-0 defeat to Olympiacos as his screensaver to remind him of the hardest of times, but he must have been tempted to change it following this result. After a loss to Swansea and a defeat to Sunderland, this was the perfect chance for Van Gaal to earn his first win as United boss, but fringe players like Danny Welbeck, Shinji Kagawa and Anderson let him down. A team showing 10 changes from the Sunderland loss stumbled to a 4-0 defeat against the League One side thanks to doubles from Will Grigg and Benik Afobe.
2) Arsenal 3 Manchester United 0 (Premier League, October 4, 2015)
Having lost just once all season, United had the chance to move top and underline their title credentials at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal had suffered an embarrassing 3-2 home defeat to Olympiacos in midweek, but the Gunners wasted little time hammering United. United were slow and static in midfield after Van Gaal selected Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger in the holding roles and they had little answer to the pace of Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil. The German and the Chilean scored a minute after each other to put the hosts 2-0 up after just seven minutes and Sanchez added a third in the 19th minute to kill United off.
3) Manchester United 0 PSV Eindhoven 0 (Champions League, November 25, 2015)
Probably the game that signalled the beginning of the end for Van Gaal. United knew a win would send them through to the knockout stages of the Champions League, but instead they could only muster a 0-0 draw. Morgan Schneiderlin, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Memphis Depay all wasted good chances and the draw proved costly as Unied's defeat in Wolfsburg a fortnight later sent them out of the competition. The United board were not happy. They expected the team to top the group, not crash out into the Europa League.
4) Manchester United 1 Norwich 2 (Premier League, December 19, 2015)
A week after losing to Bournemouth, United were humbled by another promoted side at home. United dominated possession in the first half, but failed to score and Norwich made them pay. Cameron Jerome put the Canaries ahead thanks to some static defending from Phil Jones and the striker then fed Alex Tettey for Norwich's second. Martial pulled one back for United, but it was not enough to save them from their first home defeat to Norwich since 1989. The home fans made their frustrations clear by booing the team off while the travelling support poked fun at Van Gaal by chanting the name of Jose Mourinho, who was being tipped to take over from Van Gaal after his dismissal from Chelsea.
5) Tottenham 3 Manchester United 0 (Premier League, April 10, 2016)
United had not lost at White Hart Lane since 2001 but a run of 14 matches undefeated there came to a humiliating end as Tottenham ripped van Gaal's side apart. Three goals in six second-half minutes exposed United's creaky mentality and leaky defence as the visitors fell four points behind Manchester City in the race for the top four. Van Gaal raised eyebrows with a baffling substitution at half-time as he brought Ashley Young on to play as a lone striker, a role he seemed entirely unsuited to. United were also not helped by some farcical pre-match preparation, in which their team bus was held up in London traffic, meaning they had to rush through their warm-up and kick-off was delayed by half an hour. It summed up another shambolic day for Van Gaal's men.
PSV Eindhoven PSV Eindhoven