Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

Fixtures & Results

England ENG 2

Sweden SWE 0


Russia RUS 2 (3)

Croatia CRO 2 (4)


France FRA 1

Belgium BEL 0


England ENG 1

Croatia CRO 2


Belgium BEL 2

England ENG 0


France FRA 4

Croatia CRO 2

Full Time

Louis van Gaal fumes over Manchester United exit talk

Louis van Gaal stood his ground on Sunday amid growing speculation his time as Manchester United manager will be ended early.

Jose Mourinho continues to be linked with the Dutchman's job, but in the wake of the 1-1 draw at Chelsea which did little to boost his side's top-four hopes, Van Gaal hit out.

He claimed United have no need to deny the reports of his likely early exit, and called his team's display at Stamford Bridge "sparkling".

"You have spoken with (United's executive vice-chairman) Ed Woodward?" asked Van Gaal.

"Why do they have to deny? I don't interfere neither (sic). Why do the club have to deny it when you are creating stories. Okay, okay, so you haven't spoken to Ed Woodward or (United's owners) the Glazers, so you are inventing this story.

"I don't have to answer this question."

Addressing a reporter, he said: "You are getting the sack tomorrow. What is your name? Then I can announce the name also. (You can) look at your wife, or maybe you have children, or a nephew or something like that.

"We have to do better. We have to improve in that way. But I'm happy with the performance. It was not a 'boring' match, so for the third time in a row it was sparkling. So I also hope to get the support of the media this week."

Van Gaal has regularly been criticised over United's tactics, but there was little wrong with the display in west London.

United took the lead early in the second half through a fine finish from Jesse Lingard, but as Chelsea responded with increased pressure they secured a deserved equalising goal in added time with Diego Costa's shot from close range.

Upon his appointment in December, Chelsea's interim manager Guus Hiddink was confident his team remained capable of reaching the top four.

But with 13 league fixtures to play they are 17 points behind fourth-placed Manchester City and suffered the further blow of defender Kurt Zouma being removed on a stretcher with what appeared a serious knee injury.

Hiddink said: "The rest of the season is hopefully too much (for Zouma to be ruled out for), but he will have an examination, so I can't speculate about that.

"If you've seen the images, and the experience of the hyper-extension of the knee joint, then we'll wait. It's very bad, when you land with a hyper-extended knee, a hyper-extended leg. We'll see what happens. Hopefully they have a good explanation. There are several scenarios when it's like that.

"We are unbeaten (since my appointment), but as I said before, if you want to get into fourth place, you must have victories. Considering that, we've had too many draws to get fourth place. It's difficult.

"I haven't calculated mathematically if it's possible, but we must start winning games."

After finalising his media duties, Hiddink is thought to have watched a replay of the moment when John Terry's first-half shot struck Daley Blind's hand and concluded his team deserved a penalty.

Speaking of the incident, Terry told Sky Sports: "It was going in. He's put his hands up. They're difficult ones for the referee, inside the box it's going in, it's got to be a penalty for me.

"It's not a bad result but we need to start winning."

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