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Louis van Gaal admits Champions League exit is a "step backwards"


Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says his side's exit from the Champions League is a step backwards.

The Red Devils suffered a shock exit from the competition after suffering a 3-2 away defeat at Wolfsburg.

And with PSV Eindhoven getting all three points at home against CSKA Moscow, it means that United will have to continue in the Europa League, much to the disappointment of their fans.

"I think it is a crazy match," van Gaal said after the match.

"We scored the goals, then they are cancelling [out our] goals. Still we had chances, but they have also chances. When we scored, they scored after two minutes again.

"Also the winning goal was two minutes after we had equalised, so we had the chance to win I think. We fought for the win, but with ten men at the end [after injuries] we couldn't do more than what we have done."

"You can say that we were the favourites, but we were in a very tight group, and all the results are like that. It is always 1-0 or 2-1.

"You remember the first match against PSV when there were decisions of the referee, and also in this game, decisions of the referee that were not positive for us. When it is a tight group it can happen.

"I haven't thought about that [the Europa League] at this moment. I am very disappointed, the players are very disappointed. This is the league where we wanted to show our qualities, and we cannot do that anymore.

"[Also] you don't know that [how much damage this result does] because when you see the circumstances in which we have to play the match, with a lot of injuries and in the last 15 minutes we had to play with 10 players [with Smalling struggling with an injury], you have to analyse that also.

"The circumstances were not very good for Manchester United to play this game, but that's difficult to understand because the fans and the players but also the manager want to win every game. It's not like that - in sport you can lose also.

"Of course it's a step backwards but you have seen also a lot of youngsters who played very well in my opinion."

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Louis van Gaal