Louis van Gaal reacts to Man United’s 1-0 loss at West Brom

Louis van Gaal has his say after Manchester United's 1-0 loss to West Brom on Sunday afternoon

Louis van Gaal blamed Juan Mata’s early red card for Manchester United’s 1-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Sunday afternoon.

The Spanish playmaker was dismissed in the 26th minute at The Hawthorns after he received two yellow cards within three minutes to leave his team with an uphill task at The Hawthorns.

After a goalless first half, Salomon Rondon scored the winner for the home side in the 66th minute when he fired home Sebastien Pocognoli’s left-wing cross.

And United boss Van Gaal was less than impressed by the referee’s decision to send Mata off so early on in the game.

Speaking to BBC Sport after the final whistle, Van Gaal said: “We played with 10 against 11 and this is the fifth match in 14 days I believe so it is very difficult. I think that’s the reason why we lost this game.

“You know the first one is a stupid yellow card and then you have to be aware the referee can give a second yellow card. A referee has to decide within one second but when you know the player, Mata never hurts a player.

“The only chance was the goal so what can I say, it is a pity.”

He added: “The loss is a big blow because it was not necessary. When you see the first half it was not necessary I think.”

MORE: The latest Man United news and views

MORE: The latest Man United player tweets

The loss left United sixth in the Premier League and three points behind the top four heading into the final nine games of the season.

United, who finished fourth last season, will now look to respond in their Europa League last 16 clash with Manchester United on Thursday night.

Michael Owen
Michael Owen reveals his prediction for Chelsea FC v Man United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Mark Lawrenson reveals his prediction for Chelsea FC v Man United
Thomas Tuchel
Dimitar Berbatov reveals his prediction for Chelsea FC v Man United
Mikel Arteta
Dimitar Berbatov reveals his prediction for Leicester City v Arsenal
Mikel Arteta
Mark Lawrenson reveals his prediction for Leicester City v Arsenal
Michael Owen
Michael Owen reveals his prediction for Chelsea FC v Man United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Mark Lawrenson reveals his prediction for Chelsea FC v Man United
Thomas Tuchel
Dimitar Berbatov reveals his prediction for Chelsea FC v Man United
Mikel Arteta
Dimitar Berbatov reveals his prediction for Leicester City v Arsenal
Mikel Arteta
Mark Lawrenson reveals his prediction for Leicester City v Arsenal
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature