Friday 23 March 2018

'Is it important what Rio Ferdinand says?' - Louis Van Gaal snaps back at reporters

Carl Markham

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal brushed aside scathing criticism from former players Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes after the 2-0 Europa League defeat to Liverpool.

Only the heroics of goalkeeper David de Gea prevented a landslide at Anfield, although he was beaten by a first-half Daniel Sturridge penalty and a late close-range strike from Roberto Firmino.

Ferdinand and Scholes labelled the performance "disjointed" and "shambolic" but a tetchy Van Gaal was in no mood to tolerate the opinions of a successful former generation.

"Is it important what Rio Ferdinand is saying, is that important to you?" he responded when asked about what the ex-professionals had said.

"You don't give your opinion and then you give Rio Ferdinand's opinion - that is very strong of you.

"Of course Liverpool were the better team in the first half but in second half we did a better match than before that.

"We did not cope with the high pressure of Liverpool.

"We had expected that and for me it was a surprise we did not cope with it because they did it at their home match this year.

"That raised the atmosphere in the stadium and they created big chances but we had a very good goalkeeper and because of that we were in the match.

"I don't think we were very creative in the third and fourth phase but it is also the defence of Liverpool and you can give credit for that to Liverpool.

"We have to improve a lot to create more goals."

Despite taking a considerable advantage to Old Trafford next week Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp refused to get too carried away.

"It was good, from the first second to last second with only a few minutes in the second half when we lost control," he said.

"2-0 is a perfect result. We would have liked to have won more clearly but there is nothing to criticise.

"As a human being I could really celebrate and say it is the best and greatest ever but I don't want to set a limit for them, I don't know how strong they can be.

"We are in a good position now and want to go to the next round but for this we have to play like this again."

Klopp was impressed with the Anfield atmosphere.

"It was unbelievable. I want to say thank you to everyone who was involved it was easy to enjoy from the first to last second," he added.

"That was Liverpool as I knew it before I came here. It was really great."

Press Association

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