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Van Gaal: Media are harsher on United than City

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes he is getting a rough ride from the media in comparison to cross-town rivals Manchester City.

Van Gaal has come in for plenty of criticism since a nightmare December in which the club fell out of the Champions League at the group stage and lost touch with the Premier League leaders.

United sit in fifth in the table, six points off City, but fourth place is somewhat an underachievement for Manuel Pellegrini's men at this point of the season.

Pellegrini's side have lost crunch league games against Leicester City and Tottenham in recent weeks, before being dumped out of the FA Cup in a 5-1 loss against Chelsea.

And Van Gaal believes the media has focused on United's low points more than their neighbours'.

"It's football, eh? You can win, lose, you can play a draw," Van Gaal said.

When a reporter suggested United have been inconsistent, he replied: "The media is inconsistent. It's the media. It's the media. Sunderland, we didn't lose because of the media, that's true, but the media makes it bigger than it is. And always.

"Five-one Manchester City lost against Chelsea. What was then?"

The reporter argued that City had fielded a second-string team in the loss against Chelsea, but Van Gaal said that is exactly what he has had to do at United such is the extent of the injuries at the club.

"And what am I doing now? Unbelievable. It's the same. But we don't lose with such a difference. You have to analyse the results of Manchester United - we only lost one game [heavily], 3-0, versus Arsenal, and they're on another level," he said.

"We had a lot of bad luck this year but we are still in three cups [Premier League, Europa League and FA Cup] and have those to fight for. It's not so bad as some media are writing or telling to the fans. I hope the fans shall understand that.

"Still, when I walk on the street, in my village, they are all positive. Not always in the stadium because they follow others but, on the street, it's one versus one."