Following Manchester United’s 1-0 victory over Sheffield United in the FA Cup, Louis van Gaal has attempted to defend the performances by pointing out how few chances the League One side created. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a club two divisions below United, playing at Old Trafford, only had one shot on target today, which was a tame effort straight at David de Gea. But it should be a concern that, even with 71% possession, United relied on an injury-time penalty to reach the fourth round.

We have to do it better than we did today, of course. We have to play the ball quicker, we have to move the ball, and then the gaps are coming, and you have to see this as a player. The pass has to be at the right speed. We can improve on that. But how many chances have Sheffield United created? Nobody is talking about that. Everybody is talking about the fantastic defence of Sheffield United. I don’t think you can do any different as a player of the second level.