However, they improved upon their performances in the league last term and eventually finished fourth and qualified for the Champions League, in what was Louis van Gaal’s first season in charge of the Premier League giants.
Mata scored one goal and made another as Manchester United came from behind to beat Wolfsburg 2-1 on Wednesday and kick their Champions League campaign into gear.
Juan Mata converted from the spot in the 34 minute after a handball incident by Caligiuri before Chris Smalling netted the victor in the 53 minute to reward his side with all three points. “He was a very young talent when I was there (as Bayern Munich coach in Germany) so I know him“ Van Gaal said.
Ahead of United’s mammoth clash with Arsenal weekend, Van Gaal admitted that he may have to change up his team.
“I can not tell that now, then tomorrow the players have a day off because they have already had two weeks with no day off. So we wait and see on Saturday“.
Louis van Gaal was pleased with his players but believes there is still a room for improvement.
Mata dazzled in Manchester, with his 34th-minute penalty cancelling out Daniel Caligiuri’s opener, before the Spain global executed a sublime back-heel flick to tee up Smalling eight minutes into the second half.
“Then we score and after that it was suffering”. I think we had a good game – we started really well and managed to surprise United with an early goal but then we were unlucky to concede an equaliser shortly before the break.
Do you agree with Van Gaal that Schweinsteiger is United’s best possession player?
“We could have won this game in a better way”. When you are a goal down and create so many chances but can not finish them – that is unlucky.
And Van Gaal was dismayed by his side’s momentary loss of defensive organisation.
“I do feel we are improving”, the United midfielder said. It was very important that he played there in the second half and I’m very happy with him’.
“Every ball he touched was wrong”, said Advocaat, who gave striker Fabio Borini both barrels too.
He said: “He is always thinking about the team”.