Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has admitted that yesterday's second-half capitulation against Leicester City was simply not good enough, finding the 5-3 defeat very difficult to take to put it mildly.
Rooney thrived in a deeper attacking midfield role for the first hour of a match in which the Red Devils had complete control, leading 3-1 thanks to strikes from Robin van Persie, Angel di Maria and Ander Herrera.
Leicester responded though and rocked Louis van Gaal's side with four goals in a stunning 21-minute spell, condemning United to their second defeat in just five Premier League games so far this season.
Rooney seething after stunning collapse
Speaking to Goal.com after the match Rooney pulled no punches and insisted the level of performance in the second half from United was simply unacceptable, insisting they must do better as a matter of urgency.
Rooney said: “It’s really disappointing. Going 3-1 up especially and then losing the game, it’s hard to take.
“We should have done better as a team, seen the game out and won it from the position we were in. [There were] some mistakes and we didn’t do well enough as a team to stop their goals.
“It’s a game where we played some great stuff, scored some great goals and conceded some sloppy goals.
“We have to do better; we know that - as a team we have to do better. It’s not nice when you concede goals when you know we can prevent them. Everyone individually as a player knows that.
“They had the momentum with them in the last twenty minutes and we had to somehow try and find our composure and see the game out, but we failed to do that.”
Plenty to ponder at Old Trafford
There's no question that Van Gaal still has plenty of problems to solve at the Theatre of Dreams, particularly in defence.
United will quite annoyingly now have to wait six days to put things right, with no League Cup commitments to focus attention on in midweek.
West Ham United are the visitors to Old Trafford next Saturday and it will be very interesting to see how Van Gaal sets up his side, after some alarming defensive deficiencies during the late stages at the King Power Stadium.
An attempt to find some positives in a shattering defeat should focus around forward options though, with Rooney impressing in a deeper role and linking up consistently with Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao.
Rooney set up Di Maria's stunning strike and United now look like a side who can score with alarming regularity against almost any rival in the top flight, but as the England forward points out there's no point possessing that threat if you can't defend properly as a team.
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