FOOTBALL NEWS

16/08/2014 15:16, Report by Adam Marshall & Nick Coppack
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Van Gaal: We must learn

Louis van Gaal has urged his Manchester United team to learn from the opening-day defeat to Swansea City.

The Reds' new campaign got off to a bad start when the Welsh side earned a 2-1 triumph and debutant Jesse Lingard joined an injury list that now extends into double figures. The manager switched a 3-5-2 formation into a 4-4-1-1 for the second half and Wayne Rooney equalised with an overhead kick but United will now be playing catch-up when travelling to Sunderland next Sunday.

"We are not reaching our level," van Gaal told MUTV. "That's the main thing. Because of that, we didn't play as a team. Nevertheless, we had chances to win this game. We gave a lot of space away in the second half. We played with more pressing. They scored one goal out of two chances in the second half.

"It's more than disappointing for the fans. They are expecting a lot because we have won every game in pre-season. Then you lose the first match. That's disappointing for the fans, also for the players and also for me. It's a very bad day for us.

"We make steps and you have to learn from your steps. We are not the champions. Swansea are not champions because they have beaten us. At the end of the season, we will know who is champion and who has learned from the steps we've made."

Van Gaal will have words with his players about a nervous performance but stressed the equaliser was not down to a change in formation as it came from a Juan Mata corner.

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