Football: Southampton 'lucky', says Louis Van Gaal as Manchester United loses

Southampton's Dusan Tadic (centre) scores the opening goal, and only goal, as his team beat Manchester United and Southampton at the Old Trafford in Manchester on Sunday. -- PHOTO: EPA
Southampton's Dusan Tadic (centre) scores the opening goal, and only goal, as his team beat Manchester United and Southampton at the Old Trafford in Manchester on Sunday. -- PHOTO: EPA

MANCHESTER, England (AFP) - Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal lamented his side's lack of cutting edge after they lost 1-0 at home to Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday.

United dominated possession but failed to register a single shot on target for the first time in a league game at Old Trafford since May 2009, allowing Southampton to prevail through Dusan Tadic's 69th-minute strike.

Victory took Ronald Koeman's side above United into third place, but Van Gaal, who fell out with Koeman during their time together at Ajax, felt the visitors were fortunate to leave Manchester with all three points.

"We played a much better game than Southampton," the Dutchman told the BBC after United's 11-game unbeaten run came to an end.

"They were lucky to score out of nothing. That is very disappointing. We didn't create so much, but we dominated the game. They came for a draw, I believe, and they go away with a victory. That is disappointing."

Van Gaal also revealed that Robin van Persie, who was substituted in the 61st minute, had injured his ankle and would not be able to travel to Zurich on Monday for FIFA's Ballon d'Or ceremony.

United captain Wayne Rooney, who began the game in central midfield, only to be pushed forward after Tadic's goal, felt the home side had not deserved to lose.

"That is football, that is how it goes," he said.

"I think overall we had the better chances and played the better football and deserved to win, but we were punished.

"I have seen Southampton play better. We stopped a lot of their threats, but we got punished. We have to move on and focus on the next game." Southampton manager Koeman was pleased to see his side prevail, having seen them beaten 2-1 by United in December's reverse fixture despite bossing the game.

"Juan Mata had two big chances at the end. We missed that luck in the home game and we got that today," he said.

"If you play against a big side, you need spirit and quality, but you also need belief in yourself and your team-mates and we showed that today."