Van Gaal: Bus attack not to blame for loss

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has refused to blame his side’s 3-2 loss to West Ham United on the attack on their team bus that took place prior to the match. 

The Hammers’ final match at Upton Park had to be delayed by 45 minutes as West Ham fans attacked United’s bus, throwing glass bottles and other objects at the bus.

United were given additional time to prepare for the match, but found themselves trailing 1-0 in the 10th minute courtesy of Diafra Sakho’s strike.

Anthony Martial brought United level in the 51st minute before giving the Red Devils the lead in the 72nd minutes His efforts were in vain though, as Michail Antonio levelled the scores at 2-2 in the 76th minute before Winston Reid scored the winner for West Ham five minutes later.

Van Gaal admitted that some of the United players were affected by the bus attack, but he refused to use it as an excuse for his side’s disappointing performance.

“We live in this world. We know that. I know that, it is not the first time it happens, but okay, I have a long experience in football, there are players that don’t have the experience, so it shall have an influence,” he told reporters. “But I don’t think we should look for excuses. We changed the match in the second-half, 20 minutes before time, we are ahead, so I don’t think you have to look for that excuse.”

The 64-year-old chose not to criticise those involved in the attack, asserting that his judgment was not necessary given the evidence of the attack.

“I don’t think that I have to say that because I think the media has filmed it so you can see it by your own eyes, you can make your opinion by yourself because I think the images shall be very clear,” he said.