Louis van Gaal says he feels his Manchester United team were lucky to beat Tottenham in the Premier League season opener.
Kyle Walker’s own goal was the only thing to separate United from Spurs, who had good spells at the start and end of the game but were unable to score themselves.
‘It was a very difficult game because it was two teams who wanted to press, so every player was on the ball for a small amount of time,’ Van Gaal told Man Utd.com. ‘We didn’t keep the ball too much but, in transitions, we created a few chances. We could not cope well with their pressure but we had a lot of possibilities. They had the first chance through Christian Eriksen and then it (would become) another game, so we were lucky today.’
Van Gaal lauded his new players and said he felt Matteo Darmian was the man of the match.
‘It is always difficult because it is the first time they have played at Old Trafford and the fans are very supportive,’ he said. ‘I told Memphis that he doesn’t have to play with too much eagerness and passion and that applies to the whole team. I liked the performance of Matteo Darmian. He played a good match in the Spurs half and when they had the ball, plus he didn’t lose the ball much and was very good in his ball position with the opponent. When I have to think of one player, it’s him, as he was the best performer. Sergio Romero kept a clean sheet and made some wonderful saves but (was not so good) in building up situations. That is understandable because he didn’t play with the boys (before) and he has only been with us for a week so it is a process that we have to wait for. We decided, as staff, on Wednesday and with David on Thursday that he could not play. So Sergio has only trained two days with his players – you always train with the group who will play to intensify the preparation.’