By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Aug 24, 2014
Louis van Gaal's spluttering start to life at Manchester United continued as they drew 1-1 with Sunderland in the Premier League.
Man United, who lacked fluency at the Stadium of Light, took a 17th-minute lead through Juan Mata against the run of play. However, they failed to take advantage as an unmarked Jack Rodwell headed in a first-half leveller on his home debut to earn Sunderland a point.
All eyes were again on the Dutchman after United began their campaign with a 2-1 home defeat to Swansea City last week.
As if to add to the pressure, all three of the club's close-season signings – Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo – were unavailable on Sunday.
That they emerged with a point was perhaps a source of relief, with Connor Wickham spurning a great chance for Sunderland just after half-time.
Sunderland casued all the problems as the impressive Will Buckley cut inside to feed Wickham, who could only hit straight at David De Gea with the goal gaping.
Perhaps awoken by that miss, United responded to take the lead as Antonio Valencia found space on the wing and sent a vicious low cross to the back post that Mata was able to tap into an empty net.
But the goal did not bring an improvement in the visitors' general play and Sunderland levelled in the 30th minute, Rodwell heading home Sebastian Larsson's corner at the front post.]
Whatever Van Gaal said to his players at the interval did not have the desired effect as further poor defending let in Wickham, who saw his fizzing strike turned cleared off the line by Tyler Blackett.
The Manchester United manager said after the match l: "One point: that is not good enough for Manchester United. We lost a lot of balls in situations where I don't expect it. We were dominating without creating chances. That is disappointing."I think that is down to the confidence. "