Manchester United manager slams Chris Smalling for derby defeat
Smalling was sent off during first half of Manchester derby as United lost 1-0 to City
November 2nd, 2014
Manchester United were more than holding their own on Sunday afternoon before Chris Smalling felled James Milner near the penalty area and the defender knew his fate before Michael Oliver brandished a second yellow card.
The worst thing was the fact that Smalling’s first booking was for blocking Joe Hart taking a quick goal kick, with the England defender then getting an early bath which led to United having to fend with ten men for more than half the game.
Sergio Aguero eventually scored the only goal of the game although Louis van Gaal was left to rue the Smalling sending off, claiming that the defender was stupid to get himself dismissed.
Of Smalling, Van Gaal said: “The sending off is not one of those things. As a player you have to control your aggression. I didn’t see the first yellow but the second you know as a player you have a yellow, so you have to handle it differently.
“I said that to the players. In the derby you have to be careful. The second yellow card was stupid. You cannot do what he has done with the second yellow card. That is not very smart. What can I say?
“[The sending off] had a big influence on our opponent but also ourselves. Despite having 10 men we played better in the second half than the first and that is because of the willpower of the team. We created a lot of chances, they fought until the last moment, but City had a very good goalkeeper. We are very close but we have to improve.”
Smalling apologised to his team-mates afterwards. “He said it very humbly. You can only accept it. But nevertheless it was, in my opinion, not so smart,” added Van Gaal.