Louis van Gaal: Man Utd players had me worried in the warm-up

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We lacked aggression - Van Gaal

Louis van Gaal has said he feared his Manchester United side would struggle at Everton after watching the warm-up.

The visitors went behind after just five minutes when a counter attack culminated in James McCarthy's finish.

Goals by John Stones and Kevin Mirallas confirmed United's 3-0 loss, which the Dutchman put down to Everton having "more aggression and motivation".

"I had the feeling; the warm-up was not so good," said Van Gaal, whose concern was shared by assistant Ryan Giggs.

"In the last minutes before the game you hope you can recover and stimulate your players but then it is too late.

"You have to prepare the match already two or three days before and Everton have done that and they have won because of that."

United could have increased the gap to Liverpool in the race to secure the Champions League places with a win.

But instead they remain seven points clear of their fifth-placed rivals, having played a game more.

"This is the first match that the other team have shown more fighting spirit than us," Van Gaal added.

"Our motivation, inspiration and aggression was not as high as the opponent. When you see the first goal, three duels in a row we lost and that is an example.

"I hope it shall not happen again but, as a coach, I know it shall happen again."

James McCarthy celebrates
McCarthy's goal was the game's first shot on target

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea33238265263977
2Man City34207770363467
3Arsenal33207663323167
4Man Utd34198759342565
5Liverpool33177947361158
6Tottenham34177105549658
7Southampton341761147262157
8Swansea34148124144-350
9Stoke34138133942-347
10Everton341111124443144
11West Ham341111124242044
12Crystal Palace34119144247-542
13West Brom34910153246-1437
14Newcastle3498173657-2135
15Aston Villa3488182648-2232
16Hull33710163145-1431
17Leicester3387183551-1631
18Sunderland33515132649-2330
19QPR3476213859-2127
20Burnley34511182652-2626
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