Manchester United disappoint Louis van Gaal in opening-day defeat | Barclays Premier League

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Sunday 17 August 2014

We never played as a team, laments Van Gaal

Manchester United manager refuses to single out any individuals after home defeat by Swansea

Gylfi Sigurdsson's strike sinks Manchester United at Old Trafford

Manchester Utd 1-2 Swansea City  |  #MUNSWA  |  More on Live Match Centre >>

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said the whole team were to blame after Swansea City claimed a shock 2-1 win at Old Trafford that the Dutchman described as "disappointing".

"We never played as a team. That is our error"
Louis van Gaal

In his first competitive match in charge of United, who finished seventh in the Barclays Premier League last term, Van Gaal saw his side struggle in the first half with the 3-4-1-2 system he had used throughout pre-season.

United got off to a sluggish start in their opening match of the top-flight campaign and, although they improved after the break, as new captain Wayne Rooney cancelled out Ki Sung-yueng's 20-yard effort, Swansea were still able to find a winner.

Gylfi Sigurdsson was the hero for the Welsh side, powering in Wayne Routledge's cut-back with just 18 minutes remaining as United, for whom Rooney hit a post with a free-kick in the second half, started their campaign with a home defeat for the first time in the Barclays Premier League.

Van Gaal felt his whole team were to blame for the defeat and urged the club's supporters to be patient when judging his team.

"We don't reach our level, what we have showed in the past matches, and that is disappointing because this is the most important match,” the Dutchman said. "We are disappointing [in] defence and we are disappointing ourselves. And that's why we lost today.

"Of course we need defenders, but that I have already said in former press conferences. You cannot say because of one game that we lost, and all the others we won, that it is the defence [that cost them]. It is the team and how we played today. We never played as a team. That is our error."

Van Gaal felt his side were much improved in the second half and refused to criticise the effort of his players. "We scored a fantastic goal and then we have chances to make it 2-1," he added. "But chances is not enough. At the end the result is counting. We have to evaluate why.

"They [players] have done their utmost best… the second half, they have run all the miles together. But we have to always keep the heads up."

Van Gaal will demand an improvement from his players when they travel to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland on Sunday 24 August.

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