In 2016 alone, Midtjylland, Sunderland and Southampton have scored winners in the last 13 minutes of games, while Chelsea and Newcastle have snatched 90th-minute equalisers.
Van Gaal’s cause is not helped by injury crisis that is unlikely to ease tonight. No1 keeper David De Gea is unlikely to play after injuring his knee in the warm-up in Denmark on Thursday. “I don’t expect anyone back,” said the beleagured United boss.
De Gea has joined Wayne Rooney, Marouane Fellaini, Ashley Young, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Antonio Valencia, Luke Shaw, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Adnan Januzaj and Guillermo Varela on the sidelines.
It means Van Gaal has few options to make any changes but Morgan Schneiderlin – who experienced League One football with Southampton – is set to replace Ander Herrera to stiffen up midfield.
It will be difficult to use injuries as an excuse for defeat, however, when the cost of the United’s available squad is just shy of £200m.