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Published: 12:51 | 18/12/15

Van Gaal: Two set-plays cost us

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal blamed his side’s defending at set-pieces for their 2-1 defeat at Bournemouth.

Van Gaal felt his side played well in the opening half, but admitted that they weren’t good enough defensively in the second period.

"Two set-plays cost us. That is not normal for us because we give a lot of attention to organisation. They had a few variations and did it very well but still it cannot be.

"We played rather well in the first half and I had the feeling we could win in the second half but then a set play and you are behind in the score and it is very difficult to have a revival,” said the United boss.

“The players had done everything but Bournemouth pressed on the ball in a fantastic way which made it difficult to get the equaliser or create chances.

The United boss has been heavily criticised for his tactics in recent weeks and he expects to receive more of the same after tonight’s defeat.

"It is always like that. It is not new it is a matter of belief. Believe in the manager or not. That is the most important thing.

“Last year the fans all showed their belief and that is the most important thing. For me the most important thing is the commitment of my players to perform as we have agreed and I can only tell they want to do that."

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, on the other hand, was delighted with the performance of his side as they followed up their win over Chelsea with another historic victory.

Howe’s side have been praised for their attractive style of play, but the boss was impressed with the commitment shown by his side without the ball as they out ran United all over the park.

"I am very proud of the players. When you play the top teams you need every aspect of your game to be good and I felt they were.

"The pleasing thing today was when we got pegged back, it didn't affect us. It helps when you have beaten a top side, you known you can do it again. This run for me started at Swansea, we have been building momentum.

“The big thing today was the way we played without the ball.

"We still felt it would be difficult today, we would have to surpass Chelsea to win. They still had world class players in forward positions but we had to handle them.

"The spell of games starting at Swansea then Everton, no one would have given us a chance of gaining many points, so to get the return we have has given us a huge lift."

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