herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Van Gaal stands by his keeper Sergio Romero after Swans defeat

United suffer first defeat of season against Swans

Swansea City’s Ashley Williams makes a last-ditch tackle on Wayne Rooney
Swansea City’s Ashley Williams makes a last-ditch tackle on Wayne Rooney

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal refused to blame Sergio Romero for his side's 2-1 defeat at Swansea.

The Argentina goalkeeper might have done better for both Swansea goals as Garry Monk's side staged a successful English Premier League comeback against United at the Liberty Stadium for the second successive season.

Romero was beaten by Andre Ayew's downward header just after the hour mark before allowing Bafetimbi Gomis' shot to squirm past underneath him at the near post five minutes later.

But with doubts persisting over the future of David de Gea, United's player of the season last year, in the final hours of the transfer window amid strong interest from Real Madrid, Van Gaal defended Romero after his side's first defeat of the season.

"You can write everything you want," he said when asked about Romero's performance.

Front

"What I always say is defending starts in front and not only in the last line.

"You can always analyse errors but I don't think that is a good way.

"You have to see the way the team is defending as a team and then I know what errors has been made.

"At the end, of course, the pressure for the last defender or goalkeeper is always higher.

"I don't agree when you only say the goalkeeper was not so good."

Van Gaal insisted he did not did know what the future holds for De Gea before the Spanish transfer window closes at midnight tonight - 18 hours before the English window shuts on tomorrow evening.

"We have to wait and see but I don't want to interfere," he said. "As a manager we have divided our tasks and the task is for Ed Woodward (United chief executive) and not for me."

On the defeat, Van Gaal added: "There is a lot of frustration but more disappointment. We were the dominant team for 85 minutes but we lost it in five minutes.

"In five minutes Swansea changed their shape and scored two goals.

"It is a big lesson for us and we have to adapt much more quickly than we have done."

Swansea's win was the third time their manager Garry Monk has got the better of Van Gaal in the last 12 months and victory moved the Welsh club above United into the top four.

"It was a difficult game for us, especially in that first half when they started better than us and it was very hard to find those lines of passing," Monk said.

"There were times we had to defend but we scored the goals at great times and we had the best chances in the games.

Clinical

"There weren't too many chances but when we did have them we were very clinical.

"We've played some amazing football already this season but we've showed the other side as well and that's part of being a good team, being able to adapt in certain situations.

"I don't think anyone can grumble with that result with the way we applied ourselves."

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