liverpool, west ham


West Ham manager called Manchester United a long-ball team following the 1-1 draw at Upton Park, and United manager Louis van Gaal agreed with him.

The United manager admitted that his side had to play that way yesterday afternoon to try and get a share of the points after man-of-the-match Cheikhou Kouyate gave the Hammers the lead after his 49th-minute strike before Daley Blind equalised in stoppage-time, after United had repeatedly sent long-balls into the box.

Talking to the press after the match and carried by the Daily Star Allardyce said: “In the end we couldn’t cope with long ball United.”

“It’s not how you normally see them play, but it got them a goal in the end.

“You might just criticise Louis van Gaal for playing long balls as much as you’ve criticised me for being direct.”

Van Gaal however admitted to the ploy, but said it was only for 20 minutes after he had brought on Belgium international Marouane Fellaini.

“I have done that already a lot of times with Fellaini, so that is not new,” said Van Gaal before criticising his team for sitting back in the first-half.

“We know West Ham play the long ball every time from defence, then you have to head the ball,” he said.

“We played a very bad first half, West Ham were much better. They won every second ball and when we had the ball we lost the ball so easily.

“I have said also at half-time that we needed the guts to play football along the floor. That we have done in the second half.”
Colombian winger Radamel Falcao missed a couple of chances that you would normally expect a striker of his calibre to put away.

“That’s why he was also angry with himself,” said Van Gaal. “I’m always happy when we create chances, because then you can score goals. The goal is coming the next match.”
The Dutchman also admitted that Luke Shaw had let himself down for picking up an unnecessary second yellow card and then red for a studs-up tackle on Stewart Downing.

“The player was jumping, but I think it was tactically not so smart of Shaw,” he added.

Big Sam meanwhile was thrilled with Kouyate’s goal. “In such a tight area to flick it round and volley it in was such a terrific piece of skill for us,” he said.

“It was just a great shame we conceded a goal as late as we did which wasn’t the normal goal you concede against Man United.”