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Football: Van Gaal's wait for league win goes on

Published on Aug 25, 2014 1:56 AM
Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal shakes hands with Robin Van Persie after substituting him during their English Premier League soccer match against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northern England August 24, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Manchester United secured their first Premier League point under Louis van Gaal, but were still left searching for a first competitive win of the Dutchman's reign, after a 1-1 draw away to Sunderland on Sunday.

United, fresh from their shock 2-1 defeat by Swansea at Old Trafford on the opening day last weekend, took a 17th-minute lead at the Stadium of Light when Juan Mata turned in Antonio Valencia's cross.

But former Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell equalised for Sunderland in the 30th minute when he headed in Seb Larsson's corner after evading marker Robin van Persie.

Gus Poyet's side caused a huge upset by winning 1-0 at Old Trafford in May as part of a "great escape" that saw the north-east side avoid relegation.

But despite the urging of their Uruguayan manager, Sunderland couldn't manage a second goal, and nor could United, with Van Gaal having said in midweek the team would need a "miracle" to win the league this season.

"The purpose of the game is to create more chances and score goals," Van Gaal told BBC Radio Five.

"We haven't created more chances, but in the second half we were more dominant than we were against Swansea. That's a plus, but we have to create more from that dominance.

Sunderland boss Poyet added: "A point is fair, I think so. We conceded a goal against the run of play a little bit.

"It's important we started better than last year (season) and that was key."