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Louis van Gaal blames congested Christmas schedule for Manchester United's draw with Tottenham

Image: Louis van Gaal: Criticises the Christmas schedule

Louis van Gaal has blamed his Manchester United side's subdued second-half performance in their 0-0 draw against Tottenham Hotspur on the congested Christmas schedule.

United dominated the first half at White Hart Lane but fell off the pace after the break as both teams failed to find a breakthrough.

The fixture came less than 48 hours after the final whistle was blown on United’s 3-1 win over Newcastle United on Boxing Day and Van Gaal admitted his players had run out of steam.

He said: “I have said one month ago what I think about this [the Christmas period]. It is scientifically proven that the body cannot recover within 48 hours.

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal blamed his Manchester United side's subdued second-half performance against Tottenham on the congested Christmas s

“When you, as an FA, allow that, to play matches [so close together], you see what it is like. The second half was much different to the first half, not only for Manchester United, but also for Tottenham Hotpsur.

Title blow

“I think Tottenham Hotspur can play much better than today, and also my team could have played in the second half much better.”

The draw extended United’s unbeaten run to nine matches, but two points dropped represented a blow to their renewed hopes of challenging for the Premier League title.

It was a repeat of their inability to defeat a 10-man Aston Villa side on December 20 and although Van Gaal expects his side to improve in the new year, he said the result at White Hart Lane was proof that they are not yet ready to be champions.

He added: “When you cannot win such type of matches, when you are the better team, against Aston Villa and also now, it’s very difficult to be the champion at the end of the season.”

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