The Red Devils got their season off to the worst possible start a week ago, as Swansea City beat van Gaal's men at Old Trafford in a shock 2-1 success, meaning spirits and expectations were low ahead of their trip to face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light today, who opened their campaign with a 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion.
They did gain an early goal against the Black Cats this evening though, as Juan Mata gave them the lead in the 17th minute, only for former Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell to score his first goal for his new club, equalising for Gus Poyet's side.
The draw showed once again that United must make new signings before the September 1st transfer deadline. Sporting Lisbon defender Marcos Rojo joined the club this week, and his international team mate Angel Di Maria looks poised to join him at Old Trafford amidst speculation of an agreement between United and Di Maria's club Real Madrid.
United fans discussed the possibility of Di Maria's arrival and how he would affect the team's performance on Twitter, whilst some supporters even criticised van Gaal's 3-4-1-2 system and some of underperforming players that continue to disappoint - including Darren Fletcher and Tom Cleverley.
Fletcher was brilliant in first 3 games of pre-season. Ever since he has been awful. #mufc— D!0N ⚽ ⚡ (@Dion_MUFC96) August 24, 2014
It is NOT the formation,it is the players.#MUFC— sage (@Ero_senniN__) August 24, 2014
Result was disappointing to say the least! Massive week at United, we desperately need to buy a CM and a CB! #MUFC— Ben Rose (@BenRoseMUFC) August 24, 2014
Cleverley is beyond repair. Beyond his ability, his mentality isn't suited to United. Forget confidence...where is the grit you need? #MUFC— select ─xl (@selectxl) August 24, 2014
Another poor performance. Still not sure about this system with our personnel #MUFC— Jax Teller (@JoshCofer) August 24, 2014
Put Shaw, Rojo, Herrera, Di Maria in there and it changes everything! No need to panic with those to come in but few still need to go! #Mufc— Januzaj'd! (@MataIsTheJuan) August 24, 2014
We were missing Evans, Shaw, Herrera, Carrick and Fellaini today. Add Rojo and Di Maria into the mix and its not all doom and gloom. #MUFC— Matt Kettleborough (@Matt_K0) August 24, 2014
After today, how are people still saying we don't need Di Maria? we lacked so much pace with no players taking risks or urgency #MUFC— Aman (@aman__mufc) August 24, 2014
We look ordinary. No aggresion at all. This is all going wrong. #MUFC— Muzzammil Lambate (@the_lekhak) August 24, 2014