Manchester United news: Van Gaal admits West Brom defeat is a ‘big blow’ in their bid for the Premier League’s top four

Manchester United’s hopes for a spot in the Premier League’s top four suffered a major dent as West Bromwich Albion sealed a 1-0 victory at the Hawthorns.

It had been 32 years since the Baggies had been victorious against the Red Devils, and much frustration has been vented towards Juan Mata, with the Spaniard dismissed in the first half for two bookable offences, leaving his side to battle the majority of the game a man down – a task that proved too difficult.

Louis van Gaal’s side remain sixth with 47 points after the defeat, two points behind fifth-placed West Ham and three behind noisy neighbours Manchester City, who also have a game in hand over their English rivals.

“It’s a big blow because I’ve said we have to win these kinds of matches, especially when you have lost already so many,” said Van Gaal after the loss.

“We have to close the gap, but we are not closing the gap.

“And that’s a big pity.”

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