Goal-shy United concern Van Gaal

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal was left to rue his side's wastefulness after they were knocked out of the Capital One Cup on penalties by Championship outfit Middlesbrough.

Boro triumphed in a penalty shootout after neither side could break the deadlock after 90 minutes or in extra time. United had 13 shots on goal during the fixture, but could not make any of them count. Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick, and Ashley Young then failed to find the back of the net from the penalty spot.

Having failed to score in the weekend's Manchester derby, a fixture which ended 0-0, United have now gone 238 minutes without a goal.

Speaking after Wednesday's defeat, Van Gaal admitted that the situation was of some concern.

"When you are not finishing the chances – and they were very easy chances in front of the goal or in front of the goalkeeper – then it is very difficult to win a game because the goals are counting, not the chances," he said.

"I am so disappointed. We create so many chances in the second half and in extra-time and we couldn't finish.

"You have to finish. The goal is the most important thing in football and we didn't do it.

"You can say it is unlucky but that I have said already after the match against [Manchester] City also because that was also 0-0.

"You have to force the luck also, we didn't do that because we didn't score. That's why I'm disappointed."

Rooney has come in for considerable criticism for his poor start to the season, but Van Gaal refused to blame any one player for the lack of goals.

“We have to solve this problem. Against Manchester City, we had more chances than City and we have to finish one of those chances," said the Dutchman. 

"We didn’t create so much against City as we did today, but we have to finish. A lot of players were in finishing circumstances and didn’t do it. Not one player but more players so that’s a little bit frustrating. But it’s like that and we have to continue.”

Next up for United is a clash with Crystal Palace on Saturday.