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Van Gaal’s substitutions against Chelsea could cost Manchester United a top four spot

Manchester United, English Premier league, Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge, LVG, Loius Van Gaal, Memphis Depay
Louis van Gaal was admittedly disappointed by Manchester United’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea.

It was on course to what looked like the turning point for Manchester United’s season. After a rather sparkling performance against Stoke City in their previous Premier League game, a win against the defending champions could well have been the boost Louis Van Gaal’s side needed to revive their season and further strengthen their top four spot for the season. Instead it was a familiar story, as it has been for much of the Dutchman’s tenure as United gave away a cheap goal to allow the opposition to come back and take something out from the game.

There is no denying that either side could have come out victorious from the game, looking back at the chances they created but in the end a single point hurts United more than Chelsea, who have very little to play for in the league. While blame has to be shared by the dodgy defending from the United backline, there is no denying the fact that Van Gaal missed a trick by not using his three substitutes in the right manner.

The introduction of Memphis Depay, in place of goal scorer Jesse Lingard, would end up turning the course of the game. The Dutch winger has had a rather turbulent season and his poor decision making allowed Diego Costa to combine with Cesc Fabregas for the vital equalizer. The youngster was caught two-minded on whether to release Morgan Schniederlin who had a clear sight of Chelsea’s goal or play it backw and keep possession. Chelsea summoned a response and within seconds had the ball in the back of the net.

It is indeed questionable as to why the out of form former PSV star was sent on the pitch to defend a 1-0 lead, especially when two defenders were available for selection. While some might question the fact that neither McNair nor Varela have had enough Premier League experience, the duo have been called up when needed and have delivered when required.

United would indeed look back to this game as an opportunity missed on the top four spot. This was a chance for them to capitalize, build on their winning run as we near the climax the league. With Jose Mourinho’s name making the rounds at Old Trafford, the former Bayern Munich manager cannot afford any further slipups.

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