Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal admitted Angel Di Maria struggled to impose himself during United’s 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.
The Argentine international joined the Red Devils from Real Madrid in the summer for a club record £59.7 million fee and has begun life at the club in a positive fashion.
In nine Premier League appearances since moving to Old Trafford, the 26-year-old has found the net three times and added a further five assists.
His latest major contribution came in setting up Juan Mata to score the only goal of the game against Palace, but aside from his assist Di Maria was kept relatively quiet.
Speaking to the press after the match, Van Gaal commented on his star player’s display and felt he suffered due to the visitors’ compact defensive shape.
“For [Di Maria] it was difficult because the space was very small. That was difficult for every player, but especially if you are a player who likes to dribble with the ball.” He said, quoted by Manutd.com.
“You have to dribble through a lot of players so it was more of a passing game. We did that in the first half very well but didn’t score. Then in the second half we did score.”
|Touches||Shots||Key Passes||Dribbles Won||Mins Played|
|Ángel Di María||62||6||2||4||71|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Di Maria tried to help United break the deadlock with a number of shots at goal and successful dribbles but was thwarted by a Neil Warnock’s stubborn side.
The goal eventually came through substitute Mata with a helping hand from Di Maria and the former Real Madrid man was replaced minutes after for young striker James Wilson.