Louis van Gaal on the bench
Louis van Gaal on the bench at AnfieldGetty Images

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal thought his side were unfortunate to lose 2-0 to Liverpool durng their Europa league first leg game at Anfield. The 64-year-old Dutchman claimed bad refereeing decisions had a major say in the outcome of the match.

United produced one of their worst performances of the season, as they were overwhelmed by Jurgen Klopp's men on Merseyside. However, Van Gaal subsequently questioned the decision-making of Spanish official Carlos Velasco Carballo, who awarded Liverpool a first-half penalty and gave a contentious offside decision in the hosts' favour shortly before the second goal.

"They played very good in the first half and we could not cope with their pressure. David de Gea was fantastic," the United manager said, according to the BBC. "But we had a cheap penalty and in the second half we changed the shape. We had much more contribution to the game but we didn't create enough.

"They scored another cheap goal, he was offside, and that is difficult. Losing 2-0 is a difficult result for us but we have to create an atmosphere like that next week."

Despite his complaints, the United manager admitted Liverpool were worthy winners on the night. Meanwhile, Van Gaal also claimed to have missed a controversial incident between Marouane Fellaini and Emre Can, when the Belgian appeared to catch the Liverpool player with a stray elbow.

"Liverpool deserved it," the United boss conceded. "I haven't seen [the incident with Marouane Fellaini] but I have to say that Fellaini was one of the best players on the pitch."