• Premier League

Allardyce takes dig at 'long-ball United'

ESPN staff
February 8, 2015
Louis van Gaal adopted a direct approach against West Ham © PA Photos

Sam Allardyce says West Ham "couldn't cope with long-ball Manchester United" after Louis van Gaal's side grabbed a last-gasp point at Upton Park.

The hosts had been leading through Cheikhou Kouyate's fine strike early in the second half but were unable to hold on as Daley Blind struck a low effort home in added time.

"The lads are absolutely gutted in there, and so they should be,'' Allardyce told Sky Sports. "I think it was an absolutely fantastic performance.

Daley Blind scored a last-minute equaliser at Upton Park © PA Photos

"I thought we were going to make sure we saw it through, but unfortunately for us it was not to be.

"I suppose in the end we couldn't cope with long-ball United. It was just thump it forward and see what they could get and in the end it paid off for them.''

United manager Van Gaal admitted that he brought on Marouane Fellaini in order to change his tactics to a more direct approach.

"With Marouane Fellaini, you have to change your playing style," he told Sky Sports. "That's what we did, and because of him we created lots of chances. I'm pleased that we have a draw."

The Dutchman also claimed United lacked the "guts" to play the ball along the floor in a poor first-half performance at Upton Park.

"We played very badly in the first half and we showed a lot of spirit in the second half, especially after their goal," Van Gaal told Sky Sports. "We gave that goal away.

"Then we played football - but you have to do it from the first minute. I have to say what a spirit my team showed after falling 1-0 behind. I have thanked my players for that.

"When we had the ball we didn't play it along the floor, but also when we lost the ball you have to win the first and the second balls much better than we did in the first half.

"Because they were playing long balls, we knew that in advance, all of the second balls were for West Ham United and that is why we were under a lot of pressure.

"That is also why the players lost their confidence to play the ball along the floor when we were in possession."

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