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Manchester United Column: Another false dawn

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As the final whistle swept around The Stadium of Light on a cold February lunch time, hopes for the top four fell into a deeper quandary for Manchester United.

Louis van Gaal began the weekend with a more defeatist attitude than he showed during past rumour rife weeks. He has almost conceded the potential arrival of the self-proclaimed Special One, merely adding that talks between the Portuguese manager and van Gaal’s current employers would simply disappoint him.

No baptism of fire for journalists this time as he almost looked like a man no more in abjuration and more accepting of a detrimental arrival to his position as manager at Manchester United.

If this is the case then it certainly transferred across to the players with a better overall performance undone with a frustratingly poor mentality throughout the game in Sunderland.

United were pegged back early on when a set piece from Wahbi Khazri defeated the exceptionally in form David De Gea, trickling past his far post. Though reacting well and a class finish apart from the ever imporving Anthony Martial, United frustrated throughout with a fairly limp second half performance. This culminated in a late Sunderland goal as Lamine Kone rose and thundered his header through the helpless United defence giving Sunderland their first ever home victory against Manchester United in the Premier League. It was yet another shoddy piece of defensive work from United in which we’ve seen them switch off so often when in strong positions in a game.

It is not the first time a false dawn has quickly escaped into the midst of the night for Louis van Gaal. This defeat to Sunderland is the most recent example after a much invigorated performance last weekend at Stamford Bridge against a tricky foe.

The looming shadow of Jose Mourinho leaves Old Trafford in an overcast mood and with the top four now appearing potentially out of sight, the questions will only be placed further on a seemingly defeated Van Gaal.

In fact this may be his last false dawn as Manchester United manager.

jose mourinho Louis van Gaal

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