Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Smalling's Sending-Off Just Stupid -Van Gaal; MATCH FACTS

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Smalling's Sending-Off Just Stupid -Van Gaal; MATCH FACTS

Article excerpt

MANCHESTER CITY 1 MANCHESTER UNITED 0 LOUIS van Gaal angrily branded Chris Smalling "stupid" after his dismissal helped City beat United in the Manchester derby.

United were holding their own against their local rivals but they eventually went down 1-0 thanks to a second-half strike from Sergio Aguero.

City's task was made much easier by Smalling, who received two yellow cards in eight minutes just before half-time.

Referee Michael Oliver showed Smalling a yellow card for a cynical block on Joe Hart as he attempted to kick the ball down field from his hands.

The England defender slid in on James Milner soon afterwards, leaving Oliver with no option but to issue him with a second yellow.

Last week Van Gaal called Robin van Persie "stupid" for his goal celebration against Chelsea and this week it was Smalling's turn to feel the wrath of his manager.

The Red Devils' manager, who had warned his players pre-match they must not get sent off, said: "In a derby you have to be careful - the second yellow card is a stupid yellow card.

"As a player you have to control your aggression.

"I didn't see the first yellow but with the second you know you already have a yellow, so have to handle it differently. I said that to the players.

"You have to deal with that. You cannot do what he has done with the second yellow card. That is not very smart."

When asked whether Smalling had apologised to his team-mates, Van Gaal added "He said it very humbly. You can only accept it but nevertheless it was not so smart."

Smalling impressed against on his return from injury against Chelsea last week and he was playing relatively well before his two moments of madness at the Etihad Stadium.

Van Gaal's anger towards him is likely to have been heightened due to the fact United are already severely depleted in defence. …

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