• Premier League

Di Maria can improve, says Van Gaal

ESPN staff
September 14, 2014
Angel Di Maria scored one and had a hand in all three other goals © Getty Images

Louis van Gaal says Angel Di Maria can still improve despite a man-of-the-match display on his Old Trafford debut in Manchester United's 4-0 victory over QPR.

Di Maria opened his United account after his £59.7 million move from Real Madrid by grabbing the first goal in Sunday's Premier League win - the first of United's 2014-15 campaign.

He also played a part in all three of the other three goals as Ander Herrera, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata joined him on the scoresheet, but Van Gaal believes there is more to come.

"When you prepare three goals and make the first goal by yourself then you cannot play bad but he had a lot of unnecessary losses [of possession] so we can do better, even Angel Di Maria," Van Gaal told a post-match news conference.

"Can you do it better when you prepare three goals and make one? It is nearly impossible but I am analysing the game and I see things we can improve as a team."

Di Maria came off in the closing minutes after appearing to suffer from cramp, but Van Gaal shrugged off any injury fears.

"Di Maria is all right. Di Maria has never played 90 minutes until now in his pre-season and season," Van Gaal added. "He has cramp and normally you have to play 90 minutes without cramp but that is also a positive signal. He gave everything."

At one stage, the majority of the United players on the pitch were Spanish speakers - with Di Maria joined by Herrera, Mata, David De Gea and Marcos Rojo - but Van Gaal vowed they will all speak English by 2015 after ordering them to take language lessons.

"Already all the Spanish players have lessons in English," he said. "We have started two weeks [ago] and the language is English. I can speak Spanish so it is better to communicate sometimes on the pitch in Spanish but they shall learn English within one year, I promise."

Di Maria struck his first United goal from a free kick wide on the right, and told Sky Sports after the game that it was a deliberate attempt to score.

"I've been practising this during the week and done that in training so it wasn't a surprise," he said.

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