LEICESTER (AFP) – Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal admitted he was as shocked as anyone by his side’s defending after they squandered a winning position in a remarkable 5-3 defeat by Leicester City.
United seemed all set for a first competitive away victory under Dutch boss van Gaal after goals from Robin van Persie, Angel Di Maria and Ander Herrera put them 3-1 up at the King Power Stadium on Sunday with just over half an hour to play.
But Jamie Vardy led Leicester to a famous victory by scoring one goal and having a role in their other four as the promoted Midlands club exposed United’s defensive weaknesses.
Leonardo Ulloa had scored for the Foxes in the first half before a controversial David Nugent penalty and an Esteban Cambiasso strike had levelled the match at 3-3.
Goals from Vardy and an Ulloa spot-kick then saw Leicester to a famous victory, with United’s misery compounded by the fact that Tyler Blackett was sent off in the incident that led to the hosts’ second penalty.
“How is it possible to give this game away? We have given the game away,” said van Gaal.
“Leicester has proven already in four games that they have a strong character and that when they are 3-1 down, you can play all the game with more possession but you cannot do these kind of things,” said the Dutch manager.
“I think also we created a lot of chances and made superb goals but a game lasts 90 minutes, you have to do that for 90 minutes, not 60 minutes.
“I think they didn’t create many chances, Leicester City. They have, I think, shot five times on the goal, two penalties and a header and then two shots.
“These five goals were existing after we have made errors in ball possession.
“You never expect it when you are 3-1 ahead, for the second time two goals ahead, then you have to kill the game and you have to keep possession.
“But we could not do that and then of course you gave it away with penalties. Then you cannot win a game any more when you do that.”