Sunderland 1 - 1 Manchester United

Match info: Premier League at Stadium of Light

Date: 24/08/2014 KO: 16:00 Ref: Att: 43,217

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers


Jack Rodwell 30


Man Utd

Juan Mata 17

FT (ht: 1-1)

  • Last Updated: August 24 2014, 19:23 BST

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is unwilling to confirm whether Angel Di Maria is on the verge of joining the club despite reports the Real Madrid winger has already said farewell to his team-mates in Spain.

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal after the 1-1 draw with Sunderland
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal after the 1-1 draw with Sunderland

Real boss Carlo Ancelotti said on Sunday that the Argentina international had not taken part in training but had instead "come to say goodbye", fuelling speculation that Di Maria will sign for United in the next few days.

However, speaking after his side's 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw at Sunderland, Van Gaal remained coy over the rumours.

He told Sky Sports: "I think always the club has to announce it. And when we think it's the right time to form a transfer then we will come to you and say we have bought that player or the other player.

"But at this time we can't say anything."

The Dutchman added: "Yes (I like Di Maria) but I like Messi also. There are a lot of players in this world that I like but they can't always come to Manchester United."

Van Gaal is still awaiting his opening league win since taking charge of United, although he did at least see his side pick up their first point at the Stadium of Light.

Juan Mata fired the visitors in front but Sunderland's summer signing Jack Rodwell capitalised on woeful defending to head home Sebastian Larsson's corner on the half-hour and ensure the points were shared.

Having lost to Swansea at Old Trafford on the opening weekend, Van Gaal feels his side are still lacking the final pass needed to score.

"In the first half we played an equal match with Sunderland. We didn't create so much but scored a fantastic goal," he said.

"But then we've already warned our players they don't have to give a lot of set-pieces away, and we gave a lot of set-pieces away and they scored out of a set-piece, so that was disappointing.

"We played much better in the second half and could have created more but in the last third we lacked creative passes.

"Football is played for creating chances and making goals. We haven't created so many chances today. We probably had more ball possession and were more dominant than the last match but you have to win your game at that moment and we couldn't, so that's a pity."

Van Gaal was also critical of the decision to book Ashley Young for simulation after going over Wes Brown's leg in the second half, although did admit the winger's action was "exaggerated".

The manager said: "He was free at the ball, he lifted the ball across the player and the opponent is kicking him.

"After that he was jumping too much but what counts is that he was kicked by the opponent and then the referee can give a penalty.

"He was tackled in my opinion, but after that he was exaggerating. But it is not diving because he was touched by the opponent."

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet felt his players gave a good account of themselves against their illustrious opponents.

"It was a good game to watch," he said.

"We played a very good first half, going forward taking chances and creating half opportunities after conceding at what was the wrong time really because we were in control of the game. It was a big effort.

"We made a few decisions on how to play against a different system and the boys have done exceptionally well. We showed that we were organised and difficult to play against."

Poyet is also hoping to have an answer soon as to whether Liverpool striker Fabio Borini - his main transfer target - will join the club.

The Italian is said to have turned down a permanent move to Wearside but Poyet has not given up on his man just yet.

"I think we're getting close to a final decision either way because it's been a bit too long," said the Black Cats boss.

"It's time now that it's a yes coming or a no as we need to move on."