Van Gaal refuses to defend Di Maria

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Di Maria's Man Utd misery continued with a red card against Arsenal
Di Maria's Man Utd misery continued with a red card against Arsenal

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal admits Angel di Maria deserved to be sent off in Monday night's FA Cup quarter-final defeat against Arsenal at Old Trafford.

Di Maria received two yellow cards in quick succession as he was booked for diving and they grabbed the shirt of referee Michael Oliver and he tried to protest.

"I think he's touched the referee and that's forbidden in every country, so he has no excuses," the United manager said.

"In Spain he knows that he doesn't touch the referee, but that is also in his emotion.

"I've already spoken with him, he knows my opinion but also I have to see on the video. He doesn't have to touch the referee. That is not so smart of him."

Questions over Di Maria's future at United may now be raised, with the winger who came close to joining Paris Saint-Germain last summer unsettled by a house break in in his Manchester home that has led to him putting the property up for sale.

Could it be that PSG take him to the French capital next summer as United look to recoup some of the £59.7m they invested in Di Maria? It does not seem out of the question after the events of recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Van Gaal was involved in a frosty exchange with a journalist in the post match press conference as he was asked whether he had made a mistake to sell Danny Welbeck to Arsenal and replace him with Radamel Falcao at United.

Welbeck scored the winning goal against United on a night when Falcao did not even come off the bench, but Van Gaal was not amused by the questions coming his way.

"A lot of times against the club who a player was playing for (he) shall be very motivated," he said of Welbeck.

When it was put to him that Falcao, who did not make it off the bench, had flopped this season, Van Gaal fired another retort back.

"I think you enjoyed asking that question, I can see it in your face," he said to the reporter.

"He has scored four goals and has three or four assists," he added. "And he stimulates also the other players. I cannot argue with the facts. What can I do about Falcao's record?"