Louis van Gaal says his side struggled to play their best football in their 0-0 draw against Tottenham today because of the short turnaround between games over the festive period.
The Red Devils dominated in the first half at White Hart Lane and should have comfortably been ahead, but couldn't match their performance in the second half where Tottenham looked the stronger side.
The game between the two teams who are both in the hunt for Champions League qualification took place just two days after they played on Boxing Day, and Van Gaal believes the is a fundamental flaw of the Premier League.
“We lost two points I think,” reflected the Manchester United boss afterwards. “We had the best performance of Manchester United’s season in the first half, we could have scored four or five goals I think, but we didn’t reward ourselves. In the second half, it was more of a struggle than football.
“You could see [then] that the players could not recover in two days. It was an ugly match. In the first half we played very well, but when you do not score goals then you cannot win. I said already before the matches, it is the culture of England [to play twice in 48 hours]. I think the human body cannot recover with 48 hours and in the second half it was a struggle."
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At the halfway stage of the season Manchester United are in the top four and on course to qualify for the Champions League while Tottenham are five points further back from their rivals.
According to Van Gaal his team are almost exactly where he wants them to be despite their slow start to his first campaign in charge at Old Trafford.
He explained: “I should have been satisfied if we had won today because then we would have had 38 points out of 19 matches and that is two points a match on average, which is very good.”