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Louis van Gaal frustrated as United fail to capitalise on 'best performance' of season


Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal during the Barclays Premier League match at White Hart Lane, London

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal during the Barclays Premier League match at White Hart Lane, London

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal during the Barclays Premier League match at White Hart Lane, London

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal was frustrated by his side's failure to capitalise on their "best performance" of the season in the first half as they drew 0-0 at Tottenham.

Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris produced a string of fine saves to keep out the visitors in north London.

Van Gaal claimed a draw was not a fair result, saying: "We lost two points I think.

"We had the best performance of Manchester United this season in the first half. We could have scored four or five goals and we didn't reward ourselves.

"In the second half it was more a struggle than football I think.

"The players couldn't recover in two days, it was an ugly match.

"In the first half we played very well, but if you don't score goals you cannot win."


The Dutchman admitted the draw was a missed opportunity, adding: "The first half was a fantastic half of ours. Then you have to finish the attacks and we were not so effective today."

And he criticised the schedule, with two matches in 48 hours.

"It's the culture of England, but I think the human body cannot recover in 48 hours so good," he said.

Asked if he was satisfied with the progress of his side so far, Van Gaal, who refused to talk about possible transfer targets in January, said: "I would have been satisfied if we had won today."

Man of the match Lloris praised the Tottenham team spirit as they made it five Premier League games unbeaten.

"They (United) had a great first half but we stayed in the game because we were strong defensively, a bit lucky because they hit the post, but after we kept fighting and we were close to a big chance and to scoring," the Frenchman said.

"We have to congratulate the team because the spirit was great."

Lloris said Spurs were not thinking about the possibility of finishing in the top four, but added: "If we keep going in this way, keep this same spirit, we have the quality to get something."

It was the first time United had named an unchanged starting XI since November 2012, in 85 Premier League games; curious timing given they had played fewer than 48 hours previously.

United, who had not lost at White Hart Lane since May 2001, swept Newcastle aside in 53 minutes in the 3-1 win and had it not been for Lloris the visitors would have been out of sight at the interval.

The Spurs goalkeeper saved twice from Radamel Falcao, Robin van Persie and Ashley Young and was complimented by opposite number David de Gea as the teams left the field at half-time.

The one time Lloris was beaten Juan Mata's deflected free-kick hit the post and Vlad Chiriches cleared the rebound off the line ahead of Van Persie.

Van Persie and Mata fired over in a second half in which Spurs, who next play Chelsea, had the better openings without really testing De Gea as the match ended in a stalemate.

United still have won only twice away from home this season and now go to Stoke on New Year's Day hoping for a brighter 2015.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino felt his side were worthy of a draw after Lloris' heroics.


Pochettino said: "I think it's a fair result. Lloris is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. It's not new for me. We know the quality from Hugo."

Pochettino felt Spurs might have had a penalty in the second half following Wayne Rooney's grappling on Harry Kane at a corner.

"Maybe it was a penalty, from seeing the TV now," Pochettino said.

"But from my vision during the game it was difficult to identify if it was a penalty or not."