Van Gaal's fury as Manchester United are humbled by Cambridge
Cambridge United 0-0 Manchester United
Louis van Gaal admitted he was fuming after Manchester United's latest embarrassment, last night's 0-0 humbling against League Two also-rans Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium.
Van Gaal, stung by criticism that his record is no better than that of much maligned predecessor David Moyes, didn't hold back after the FA Cup fourth round tie.
"I have to be angry again but it is part of my job," raged the Dutchman.
"But every aspect of the match is against us - the pitch, the referee, everything that you can think about this is against you. Also the fans of course, but that is nice I think," he bleated.
"The FA Cup is very important - it is the most important title for us. To win the Premier League is much more difficult now, so the FA Cup is our objective."
Man of the match Ryan Donaldson hailed Cambridge's 0-0 draw as a "dream result" after the League Two side earned a fourth-round replay at Old Trafford early next month.
Seventy-six places separated the two sides in the football pyramid, but at times it was difficult to tell which had won the competition on a record 11 occasions.
Van Gaal's side endured a frustrating night and Donaldson tried to describe the magnitude of Cambridge's achievement.
"It was really hard," Donaldson said. "We got penned in a bit.
"They've got world-class players, you know it's going to be difficult, but the draw was a dream result for us and we've got it. They've had two great chances (in the) second half. I thought it was quite an even game in terms of chances, but we'll take a draw any day."
Northern Ireland Under-21 international Cameron McGeehan was one of the stars of the Cambridge side.
The 19-year-old - who qualifies for Northern Ireland through a grandparent - only arrived at Abbey Stadium earlier this week on loan from Norwich City.
Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata were not included in the visitors' matchday squad, but Van Gaal refused to take Cambridge lightly.
David de Gea started in goal, British record signing Angel Di Maria was in midfield and expensive loanee Radamel Falcao was up front against a Cambridge side for whom Luke Chadwick, once of Old Trafford, was on the bench.
But Michael Carrick was the only United player to show any composure in a first half in which Cambridge more than held their own.
Marouane Fellaini was booked for a foul on Sulley Kaikai, whose pace also troubled Antonio Valencia and Phil Jones.
The Us sent seven of their players into the six-yard box at corners, which meant, along with their markers, De Gea had 14 players to negotiate.
From one such set-piece the ball pin-balled around, but Josh Coulson could not keep his header down as it finished on the roof of the net.
Another anxious moment came when Jones gifted Donaldson the ball, only for the Cambridge winger to over-hit it.
United were aggrieved when Adnan Januzaj was upended by Michael Nelson on edge of the box, but no free-kick was given by referee Chris Foy.
Januzaj also hit a tame effort at Chris Dunn, otherwise United failed to test the goalkeeper, with Di Maria striking a free-kick over from a promising position.
Dunn saved a shot from Januzaj and made a fine stop to deny Falcao after Carrick had threaded through.
United sent for the cavalry with 23 minutes remaining, Van Persie replacing James Wilson and Ander Herrera on for Fellaini.
Centre-back Jones, who bizarrely, and poorly, took the set-pieces throughout, shot off target from open play and Van Persie was unable to keep a shot on the turn down.
Chadwick came on with 14 minutes go to a chorus of "Chadwick 1 Gerrard 0" - a reference to the former United man's Premier League winners' medal.
And Cambridge got the desired result to secure their glamour - and lucrative - replay at Old Trafford.
CAMBRIDGE UNITED: Dunn, Tait, Nelson, Coulson, Taylor, Champion, Hughes (Chadwick 76), Donaldson, McGeehan, Kaikai (Dunk 53), Elliott
Subs: Miller, Norris, Simpson, Ball, Bird
Booking: McGeehan (69)
MANCHESTER UNITED: De Gea, Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Blind (Shaw 86), Carrick, Fellaini (Herrera 67), Januzaj, Di María, Falcao, Wilson (Van Persie 67)
Subs: Rafael, Fletcher, Valdés, McNair
Bookings: Fellaini (26), Wilson (65)
Man of match: Ryan Donaldson (above)
Match rating: 7/10
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)