US tour friendly: Manchester United 3-1 Barcelona

Manager Louis van Gaal reacts: 

On the win and United’s strength in depth: “The balance of the team is the most important thing. Last year we won against the Champions League winner, it was Real [Madrid] at that time. Now we win against Barcelona so it is possible, but we also had a bit of luck. Three balls hit the post but I was pleased with our performance. Also in the second half, when the youngsters came in, you saw a spirit. We had the same amount of chances as Barcelona and that I like the most today.”

On David De Gea’s form and future: “You have seen him in the first 60 minutes, in spite of his injury, he didn’t train for a week, that he can show his quality already in this game. He has showed his quality I think because the first chance was for Barcelona and when you stop the first chance then you can score the first goal. That is always the difference in the game. Yes, of course, I do hope that De Gea shall stay but in this world of football you never know.”

On Memphis Depay and Wayne Rooney linking up: “Yes I think they try to do their utmost best to look for each other and sometimes I think too much. It should be better when we have a wider orientation, but I think they were always a threat and that is very important. I think Barcelona could not cope with the threat of Depay and Rooney, but I have to say that Adnan Januzaj was also a big threat for them in the 30 minutes that he played as a striker. That is good to see.”

On United’s young team that finished the match: “Yes I was very happy with the reaction of the youngsters because they were more aggressive and that I always want. They were defending more, going forwards and, okay, sometimes you make the wrong choices and you are always the loser, but that is also useful. But it was a team with the spirit. We created chances and we scored two goals with the youngsters so I am very happy.”

On Adnan Januzaj’s performance and winning goal: “I think that Adnan Januzaj was very good because he always gives an option for his midfielders and defenders. He scored a wonderful goal and I think that is always important. He had to fight with two defenders and he did well. But it was more easy for him against the defence without [Gerard] Pique.”

On fans in America getting up early to watch matches: “Yes I have seen it already last year. We played five matches here and we had 300,000 spectators in two weeks. When you see the amount of people in front of our hotel, waiting for one day to only see the players… I try to give signatures and pictures and so on but it is for a human being not always possible to do that because we have a very strict schedule from training, eating, sleeping, training, meeting and so on. So it is not so easy for professional players to respond to these fanatic supporters. Barcelona are the UEFA Champions League winners but you see more red shirts than Barcelona shirts and that is fantastic to see.”

On the benefits of staying in the Bay area: “We have already changed a lot of things in this tour. The last tour we were on the east coast. It was more hot, more humid and that was a negative. Now we are west coast and it is also hot but it is not a normal heat, the people have told me. We have only two base camps. Last year we had to fly on different time schedules. Now we have two weeks on the same time schedule. We have better facilities. The Seahawks’ facility was a fantastic place to train. Now we have also found fantastic facilities at Avaya Stadium but also at Stanford University. We shall train there on Monday two times. Overall we have had a better training camp. We had one last year also and it doesn’t say anything because we lost the first match against Swansea City. That is why I have said the whole tour that the most important game is not Paris Saint-Germain or Barcelona, but against Tottenham Hotspur.”

On the possibility of Bastian Schweinsteiger playing against Tottenham: “That I do not know because he has to prove himself. Every player has to prove himself and also Bastian Schweinsteiger. He shall play against Paris Saint-Germain I expect. Let us hope that he convinces me!”

On Angel Di Maria, Marcos Rojo and Javier Hernandez joining the tour: “I have heard that he [Di Maria] is not on the plane so I cannot say anything. He was not on the plane, and Marcos Rojo was also not on the plane. He has passport issues, that I do know. But Di Maria, I do not know why. Chicharito is here.”

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