Manchester Lose to Denmark
Manchester United lost 2-1 away to Danish Champions after Pione Sisto and Paul Onouchu gave victory to Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday.
United may not be having a chance to turn things around in the next Thursday’s return at Old Trafford as the team is lagging behind in their bid to finish in the top four of the Premier League.
Van Gaal has admitted winning the Europa League may now be his side’s best chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League and this latest setback will only increase the pressure on him.
He sent out a weakened side with Sergio Romero replacing the injured David de Gea in goal, and the likes of Paddy McNair and Donald Love featuring from the start against opponents who eliminated Southampton earlier in the competition, and Midtjylland deserved their win.
“It’s just not good enough. It’s not acceptable. It’s got to be a lot better,” admitted United midfielder Michael Carrick, speaking to BT Sport.
“We didn’t really kick on after we scored. With a performance and a result like that we go home very disappointed.”
Premier League title contenders Tottenham Hotspur fared better, coming away from their trip to Italy to face Fiorentina with a 1-1 draw that puts them in a strong position ahead of next week’s return.
Mauricio Pochettino sent out a strong side, albeit one missing first-choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and with Harry Kane on the bench.
And Spurs went in front in the 37th minute when Nacer Chadli converted from the penalty spot after Ben Davies was brought down by Nenad Tomovic.
However, Fiorentina, who sit third in Serie A, drew level just before the hour mark thanks to Federico Bernardeschi, whose long-range strike beat Michel Vorm with the aid of a deflection off Ryan Mason.
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp’s return to Germany with Liverpool saw his side draw 0-0 with Bundesliga outfit Augsburg in Bavaria, leaving that tie finely poised.
Liverpool may regret not getting an away goal, but it could have been worse for them as substitute Ji Dong-Won hit the woodwork for the hosts late on.