United’s Falcao on target but gets no guarantees

And while there were no guarantees from United manager Louis van Gaal that the Colombia international would keep his place away to Newcastle United on Dec.


26, Falcao’s fine 53rd minute headed goal will surely give the Dutchman food for thought.

Former Villa man Ashley Young was involved in the build-up as he hung up an inviting cross for the Colombian to power past goalkeeper Brad Guzan, after Villa’s Christian Benteke had curled home the opener in the 18th, leaving Van Gaal delighted.

“It was a beautiful goal and I liked him (Falcao) today,” he told a post-match news conference. “I’m very happy for him and I’m always happy when Manchester United score.”

When pressed on whether the 28-year-old would start more, he said: “I have to compare every week, it’s always the question for every player. Not only for Falcao but for every player.”

Falcao has struggled for fitness since joining United on a one-year loan deal in the close season from Monaco after a serious knee injury kept him out of the World Cup. Van Gaal said earlier this month he was only fit enough to play 20 minutes.

Despite being pleased with Falcao’s contribution on Saturday, Van Gaal was disappointed with the result.

Third-placed United saw the three clubs below them make up ground in the race for Champions League places and now find themselves a sizeable seven points behind leaders Chelsea and second-placed Manchester City who won the early game.


Van Gaal bemoaned a costly performance from his side.

“We dropped two points, we were the better team I think and it’s frustrating when you’re the better team and don’t win these kind of games,” he said. “If we want to be part of the title race we have to win these games.”

On the plus side Angel Di Maria came off the bench to make his long-awaited return from injury, even though the Argentina winger could not inspire his team mates to find the winner.

Resolute Villa defending and United’s generally lacklustre attacking performance helped the home side secure a point after last week’s 1-0 defeat at local rivals West Bromwich Albion as they ended United’s six-game winning streak.

But Villa were unhappy with Lee Mason’s decision to send off Gabriel Agbonlahor in the 65th for a strong challenge on Young.

“We could have won it,” Villa manager Paul Lambert told reporters. “If that’s a red card, we may as well pack up because it won’t be a game of football.

“I spoke to Brad Guzan after the game and he tells me that Ashley Young has admitted he fouled Gabby so work that one out.”

“There’s a good chance we’ll appeal, that’s no red card.”

(Editing by Ken Ferris)

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