Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal spent two seasons in charge of Manchester United AFP/Getty Images

Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has taken aim at his successor Jose Mourinho for playing "boring" football at Old Trafford.

Mourinho's negative tactics have come under fresh scrutiny after the Red Devils were beaten 2-1 at home by local rivals Manchester City on Sunday, 10 December.

Van Gaal, 66, was sacked by United in May 2016 at the end of his second season in charge of the club after his team scored just 46 goals in the league in that campaign – their lowest total in more than a quarter of a century.

However, the Dutchman insisted that his United team played more attacking football than the current version under Mourinho.

"We played football that was quite all right," Van Gaal was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. "But it's not football that is appreciated in England.

"Right now, looking at United, I have to conclude Mourinho is not being criticised while it's far more boring football. What United produce now is defensive football.

"I always played attacking football. The proof is that the opposition were always parking the bus. They don't do that now because Mourinho plays so defensive."

United were thoroughly outclassed in the Manchester derby as goals from David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi extended City's lead at the top of the table to 11 points, with Marcus Rashford scoring the only goal for the Red Devils on the stroke of half-time.

Mourinho conceded after the game that City's advantage in the title race is "a very good one", but was adamant that United would continue fighting to close the gap, starting with the midweek game against Bournemouth on Wednesday, 13 December.

"[City] are a very good team. They are lucky, they have good decisions in their favour, but Wednesday is another day of the Premier League," the Portuguese coach was quoted as saying by United's official website.

"I am sure all of us – Chelsea third and the others in fourth, fifth, sixth – I'm sure that everyone is going to fight for points and fight to reduce the distance, which is a normal thing in the fight for the championship."