Sunday 28 September 2014 14:29, UK
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal had no arguments over Wayne Rooney’s red card in the 2-1 victory over West Ham at Old Trafford.
The United captain was dismissed by referee Lee Mason just before the hour mark for kicking out at Stewart Downing as the West Ham man looked to set up a counter-attack.
Van Gaal admitted that Rooney’s red card put them under pressure in the closing stages and suggested his captain could have stayed on the field if his attempt to stop Downing had been less blatant.
The England skipper had opened the scoring with just five minutes gone and Robin van Persie doubled the lead midway through the half before Diafra Sakho pulled one back before the break.
Kevin Nolan felt he had levelled in the closing moments, only to be denied by the offside flag, and Van Gaal was happy to get back to winning ways following the capitulation against Leicester.
The Dutchman told Sky Sports: “I think we have played very good in the first half, very attacking, attractive football.
“We conceded a goal from a corner, which is a pity because we were playing very good. I said at half-time I was pleased.
“Then you get our set-play, the break from West Ham and the right card for Wayne and that changed everything.
“I think that the referee could give a red card. I think he (Rooney) did it too unfriendly, because you can do it in a more friendly way. I call that a professional fault.
“We have the problem we don’t have the height of the West Ham United players and they were playing the long ball, so it is very difficult to hold this result, but I am very happy we have done that.”
Van Gaal was impressed with the debut display of teenage defender Paddy McNair, who was brought in due to a host of injury problems and shone alongside Marcos Rojo.
He added: “I am very happy that we have won because that is important for a player who is making his debut, and I thought that he was very good. I am very pleased for him.”