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Koeman disappointed by ‘painful’ final result

Manager’s post-match verdict after coming so close to a win

Manchester United v Everton - Premier League
Ronald Koeman applauds the traveling support
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Ronald Koeman was seconds from becoming the first manager to have ever won three consecutive games away at Old Trafford. Unfortunately, Ashley Williams miscued his header from a late shot, it hit his hand instead, and Manchester United tied the game from the resulting penalty. Everton had drawn 1-1 at home to United in a similar manner at Goodison Park, with Leighton Baines dispatching an 88th minute penalty for the equalizer.

“We lost two points, because we did a really good job tonight. I think we controlled the game, maybe in the first 10-15 minutes United were the better team with one open chance for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. They started fast, but I think we controlled well, defended well and we made some mistakes in the second half.

“We had to score the second goal because we had so much space but we didn’t always take the right decisions. Even not scoring the second, I was comfortable because, of course, we know we need to defend and we did a great job defensively. It is always difficult with Marouane Fellaini, Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba - tall people in the box, working for second balls but the team was well organised defensively.

“It is always hard to take. Of course, it is the right decision for the penalty at the end but it is painful when you are just one minute away from winning the game. It is really painful because the boys did a great job, they showed everything but it is one point. Okay, if you can’t win then don’t lose.”

On the decision to switch to a back three for the closing stages -

“I brought Pennington on and we defended well again, but we also had a lot of space on the counter-attack.

“They started straight with Fellaini and Ibrahimovic in front, then you know they are two players who are good in the air. I think it was the right decision [to go to three at the back] at that time and even with one more defender at the back, we had a lot of counter-attacking movements but our last ball was not the best. If it was, we would have created more chances to score a second.”