Smalling: Man Utd letting ourselves down

The defender scored twice as Burnley were defeated 3-1 at Old Trafford, but he later admitted that they were “not good enough” on Wednesday

Chris Smalling admits Manchester United were below-par and “let ourselves down” during their 3-1 win over Burnley on Wednesday.

United struggled to break down a resilient Clarets side at Old Trafford before Smalling opened the scoring with his first touch, having replaced the injured Phil Jones.

Danny Ings swiftly equalised, but Smalling doubled United’s advantage on the stroke of half-time, though he concedes that United turned in one of their worst performances of the season in the opening 45 minutes.  

“It wasn’t a 3-1 scoreline game,” he told reporters. “Especially in that first half, we all let ourselves down. We could have played much better.

“That first half was probably the worst we’ve had all season, we were lucky to go into the break with a lead.

“We knew that it wasn’t good enough in the first half. We were lucky to get away with it, and we had to stand up and fight in the second-half.’”

Louis van Gaal admitted his displeasure with the first-half performance afterwards, telling reporters: “I think you have seen the first half was not a good performance. Burnley were the better team, they pressed us and we could not beat the press.”

And Smalling has revealed that the Dutchman wasted little time in conveying his fury to the side at half-time.

“I think the manager was shocked at half-time.

“The manager said in the dressing room that the first half was unacceptable and all the players know that.”

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