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Van Gaal: Loss at Baggies was 'unnecessary'.

LOUIS VAN GAAL believes a "very bad" Manchester United defeat to West Brom could have been avoided had referee Mike Dean used his discretion and not sent off Juan Mata.

United's recent resurgence was halted as a crucial week got off to a bad start at The Hawthorns, where the Spaniard's first-ever red card was key to the visitors' downfall.

Mata picked up two bookings in less than three first-half minutes and Albion capitalised after the break, with Salomon Rondon capping an impressive display with a fine strike that secured Tony Pulis' men a 1-0 win.

van Gaal yesterday's The result ended United's four-match winning run and is not the ideal preparation for a week that includes a Europa League trip to Liverpool followed by an FA Cup quarter-final against West Ham.

"I think always this match has an influence on the next match so it is, for us, very bad,"Van Gaal said. "It is a bad moment and it wasn't in my opinion a necessary loss.

"I don't want to say that we deserved to win, no, but we don't deserve to lose.

"When you see at the end the chances that West Bromwich Albion has created in comparison with us, it was an unnecessary loss.

"When it is a draw and you play 60 minutes with 10 men, you can accept it - but now you lose and you lose contact with the first four or five."

United end the weekend sixth in the Premier League, three points behind fourthplaced Manchester City. Manuel Pellegrini's men also have a game in hand and Van Gaal believes things would have been different had Mata not been sent off.

The Dutchman told broadcasters the first booking was "stupid" but suggested referee Dean should have taken the Spaniard's character into consideration before brandishing a quick-fire second. He said: "You give as a referee within five minutes two yellow cards to the same person and you know also who is Juan Mata.

Louis watches defeat "I asked him a rhetorical question: 'How many red cards (have you had in your career)?' None (he said).

"I had assumed that already so, yeah, as a player you have to know also when you have a yellow card that you have to take care of that."

Van Gaal was then asked whether referees should use more discretion, and said with a laugh: "I think that all the referees already are doing that. Normally they are doing that."

The Dutchman called Mata's red card the game's "turning point".


Boss Louis van Gaal watches yesterday's defeat

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Mar 7, 2016
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