Louis van Gaal has admitted he made one mistake in Manchester United's 4-2 derby thrashing of Manchester City that could have threatened the victory, and claimed the danger could have come from the crowd being so happy.
Speaking to reporters after the game, the Dutchman conceded he had gone too early with his substitutes, as Michael Carrick pulled up with injury and was forced to come off, leaving United down to ten men.
It was very soon after that, in the 88th minute, when Sergio Aguero scored his 100th goal for the Etihad Stadium club and cut the deficit to 4-2. However, none of Manchester City's players attempted to restart the game quickly in the hope of an unlikely comeback.
Perhaps Manuel Pellegrini's men did not realise that the hosts were a man down at the time, as they moved the ball around very slowly during injury time, despite Aguero making some good runs, and many United players had not noticed either.
"It was of course an error from me that I give too much minutes to my substitutes. It is not so wise. Some players didn’t know that we were playing with 10 men because the crowd were yelling and it was difficult to get the message to them," said Van Gaal.
While they were easy winners in the end, it would have been unfortunate in the extreme if City had exploited any holes in the United set up because the Old Trafford crowd was enjoying the victory noisily.
In the first ten minutes it looked as though the eventual roles would be reversed after the Blues made a blistering start to the match and looked like they would get a hatful of goals after Aguero tapped in David Silva's square pass, the Spaniard having been put in behind by a defence-splitting James Milner pass.
But United responded quickly and were level within six minutes when a bit of fortune saw the ball fall kindly for Ashley Young just two yards out in the 14th minute. Old Trafford was reenergised and Van Gaal's men did not look back.
Marouane Fellaini headed them into the lead at the back post on 27th minutes, while in the second half Juan Mata broke free to finish between Joe Hart's legs and Chris Smalling headed in an Ashley Young free-kick.
A Loud Win
It was a statement win for the Red Devils and left Manchester City now struggling to finish inside the top three, after looking like Chelsea's closest rivals for the title for much of the campaign.
Van Gaal has finally found a formula that works and his side are in blistering form, which will leave many fans thinking what might have been if this late surge can see them finish behind the Jose Mourinho's team in second.
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