Despite being the better side for most part of the game, Manchester United were disappointed to come away with just one point from their final home game of the season, against Arsenal.
The Gunners snatched a late equalizer thanks to a deflection from Tyler Blackett, in the 82nd minute. The home side took the lead through a controlled volley from Ander Herrera, half an hour into the game.
Manchester United dominated the first half in terms of possession, but the lack of a clinical presence was evident. On loan Monaco striker, Radamel Falcao started the game, but the Colombian struggled to make his presence felt.
With the likes of Falcao and Van Persie both struggling to make an impact for the Red Devils, Wayne Rooney’s absence left them toothless upfront. Despite the likes of Herrera and Fellaini causing a lot of trouble for Arsenal, the home side never really managed to capitalize on their dominance.
Not for the first time this season, United enjoyed the lion’ share of possession, but failed to convert it into meaningful attacks.
The Old Trafford outfit enjoyed a fruitful spell in terms of attack, with Wayne Rooney leading the line earlier this season. But without the England captain, Van Gaal’s side have often looked lost in the opposition’s final third.
With Champions League challenge waiting for them next season, it was another reminder that Manchester United need to invest in a top quality forward. It was further highlighted in Van Gaal’s post match presser as the Dutchman emphasized on the lack of sharpness in front of goal.
“It is a pity because in spite of a lot of injuries we were [the] better [team] for one hour. You have to finish these games though,” said van Gaal.
“You can say that we are unlucky because it is the third deflected goal in a row that we have conceded. I have said to our players though, that it is not unlucky, you have to force the luck. We were better than our opponents for one hour but only 1-0 up. After that, when you see Arsenal wanting to get back into the game, you have to stick together and play more compact – not be as open as we were.”
Further, the Manchester United manager also reflected on the potential Champions league qualifier this summer.
“We have to play a qualifying round now. We have not qualified for the Champions League yet,” cautioned van Gaal. It could be very stressful – you can meet an opponent who is midway through their season. It is not so easy and we have to realise that. [But] off course I am satisfied because we set our goal at the start of the season [to finish in the top four] and we have reached that goal”, he added.
Manchester United have been linked with the likes of Cavani, Lacazette and Harry Kane this season and are set to strengthen the strike department, especially with the likes of Van Persie and Falcao set to leave the club this summer.