Cambridge United 0-0 Manchester United

Following the 0-0 draw with Cambridge in the FA Cup, van Gaal has claimed that everything (the pitch, the referee, the opponents) was against them.

The pitch: Was the pitch different to the pretty much perfect playing surface at Old Trafford? Yes. Was it unplayable? No. There were lumps and bumps, but all of the players must have played on worse surfaces.

The referee: Quite a claim from van Gaal, which I assume he will back up with some evidence. I also expect the FA to investigate.

The opponents: Did the Cambridge players try hard against Manchester United? Were they up for the game? Yes – it was probably the biggest game in their careers and a big shop window for them. They had a gameplan to get a result and stuck to it. Looking to play an open, attacking game would only ever have led to one result.

What is interesting is that despite all these things (allegedly) against him, van Gaal makes no mention of his team, including Di Maria (who cost £60m), van Persie and Falcao – all accepted as world-class players. World class players should be able to overcome a pitch with a bump or two and opponents chasing and harrying and limiting space, still look good and get a result.

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