MILTON KEYNES: Manchester United sank to new depths on Tuesday when they crashed out of the League Cup in the second round following a 4-0 defeat by third-division Milton Keynes (MK) Dons.
United had announced the signing of Angel di Maria from Real Madrid in a British-record £59.7 million deal shortly before kick-off, but were brought back to earth with a painful bump as a second-string team fell apart at Stadium MK.
MK Don’s Will Grigg scored in each half for the League One side before substitute Benik Afobe added a brace of his own to leave a shell-shocked Louis van Gaal still searching for his first competitive win as United manager.
“It’s a matter of making errors at the wrong moment,” said Van Gaal.
“When you see the goals against us, we made big errors in the build-up situations that you cannot make.”
Asked if he had a message for United’s fans, Van Gaal said, “They have to believe in our philosophy. We are building up a team and you cannot make it in one month, not in one year.”
Meanwhile, MK Dons manager Karl Robinson was also in shock at the feat his team had achieved.
“I’m a little bit in shock, to be walking around and seeing the scoreline,” said Robinson. “It’s ridiculous. It’s something like a dream for these players.”
Di Maria refutes Madrid claims
Argentinian midfielder Angel di Maria has claimed he never asked to leave Real Madrid, amidst Real’s manager Carlo Ancelotti’s suggestions that he demanded an exit from the Spanish capital.
However, he did hint that the reason behind his departure had been the club’s failure to give him an improved contract after his man-of-the-match performance in Real’s 10th European Cup triumph against Atletico Madrid in May.
“After winning the 10th European Cup, I went to the World Cup with the hope of receiving a gesture from the board but received none,” said Di Maria in a statement.
“They always wanted to place the initiative on me for leaving the club, but it was not like this.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2014.