Embattled Manchester United coach, Louis van Gaal, has attributed the club’s disappointing defeat to FC Midtjylland in the Europa League to the “law of Murphy”.
United are on the brink of another exit from a major tournament this season after suffering a shocking 2-1 defeat in Denmark.
The Red Devils were without 13 first-team players including captain Wayne Rooney who could be ruled out for about six weeks.
Their cause suffered a further setback just minutes before kick-off as David de Gea picked up an injury in the warm up and was replaced by Sergio Romero.
And Van Gaal, who refused to take responsibility for his side’s ailing fortune, attributed the loss to the absence of several of his first team players.
“It’s the law of Murphy,” Van Gaal said at this post-match press conference.
“When you have a list of 13 injured players and a few minutes before the game we can add another player to the list. Then it is difficult to cope with such a list of injured players.
“But, nevertheless, after 10 or 15 minutes we controlled the match, we scored a goal but we gave also a goal away one minute before half-time. That’s a difficult time to concede a goal.
“In the second half, I have to say that Midtjylland was winning every ball. Again, that’s very disappointing, because you know in advance that’s the key of this game.
“They score and when you see how they score it is a little bit unnecessary in my opinion.
“Now I cannot answer that, because we need to speak about it, why our players were not capable to win these second balls and to keep the ball in our possession. We had also a lot of unnecessary losses of the ball.”
United welcome Midtjylland to Old Trafford next Thursday looking to seal their passage into the last-16 of Europe’s secondary club competition.
Van Gaal has himself placed huge importance on United winning a tournament which, he argues, presents them with their greatest opportunity to secure Champions League football next season.
And the United boss still has hope his side would progress, adding: “Still, we have a chance [to qualify], I think.”