Louis van Gaal has admitted finishing in the top four will be a difficult task for Manchester United following their 2-1 loss to Sunderland on Saturday.
Wahbi Khazri and Lamine Kone both scored either side of an Anthony Martial goal to gift Sam Allardyce his first ever win over Manchester United and Van Gaal says it was a game they should have won, which now makes Champions League qualification more difficult.
“The top four will be very difficult now. It is still possible, but it is very difficult. The Europa League is easier (to qualify for the Champions League) but also not so easy, because there you have a fantastic European level in that Cup, so you have to fight for it. You have to show your capacity in every match and we didn’t do that today,” he said.
“We needed the points so much and everyone knew that. In the circumstances that Man United are, that is very disappointing. These are the kind of matches you have to win. I said that in advance and we didn’t do that.”
The 62-year old also admitted that a Champions League finish was the minimum requirement for him this season.
“That was also our plan and you cannot close your eyes to that.”
The loss leaves United fifth, but six points behind Manchester City, who play Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.