English Premiership

Van Gaal: We must start winning

Louis van Gaal (AFP)
Louis van Gaal (AFP)

London - Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal admits that his side needs to start winning games.

Diego Costa equalised for Chelsea in the 91st minute at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, cancelling out Jesse Lingard's opener and leaving United six points below the Champions League places in the Premier League.

They were good value for the lead procured by Lingard's 61st-minute strike - a sharp turn and shot after Wayne Rooney had taken the sting out of Cameron Borthwick-Jackson's left-wing cross - but Van Gaal was annoyed that they could not close the game out.

"That's why I'm frustrated and my players are frustrated," he said.

"When you are playing like we have played today (Sunday) and you are not making the gap smaller, you can say it's misfortune, but it's not the first time that it's overcoming us.

"Because Newcastle United, for example, also (scored) in extra time (in last month's 3-3 draw). So we have to do that better. We have to improve in that way.

"But I'm happy with the performance. I think it was not a boring match so for the third time in a row it was sparkling. So I hope also to get the support of the media this week."

Chelsea felt that they should have been awarded a first-half penalty when John Terry's shot struck Daley Blind's elbow, but replays showed that the Dutch defender's arm had been clamped to his chest.

United goalkeeper David de Gea initially thwarted Chelsea's quest for an equaliser, Van Gaal hailing his "remarkable" saves from Branislav Ivanovic and Cesc Fabregas, only for Costa to strike at the death.

Costa's goal, a tap-in after Borthwick-Jackson inadvertently steered Fabregas's through-ball into his path, extended interim manager Guus Hiddink's unbeaten run to 10 matches since he succeeded the sacked Mourinho in late December.

But Chelsea have won only two of the eight league games they have played since Hiddink came in and with 17 points separating the champions from the top four, he was fatalistic about his side's chances of Champions League qualification.

"I said before when we were one point from the relegation zone, of course our target must still be the fourth place for Champions League, but at that moment I also said we have to start winning," Hiddink said.

"We are unbeaten, but if you want to get into fourth place, you must have your victories. We have too many draws to get to fourth place. It's difficult.

"Mathematically it might be possible, but we must start winning again."

Chelsea's French centre-back Kurt Zouma will undergo scans on Monday after being stretchered off with what Hiddink feared was a "very bad" hyperextended right knee.