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Man United struggles continue as Louis van Gaal makes no excuses

Lamine Kone's goal in the 82nd minute lifted Sunderland over Manchester United at the Stadium of Light.
Wayne Rooney laments Man United's dismal display against Sunderland.
ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop reacts to Man United's disappointing 2-1 defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

SUNDERLAND, England -- There was no hiding Louis van Gaal's disappointment when he faced the press at the Stadium of Light after Manchester United's seventh defeat of the season.

The furious fire that flashed in his eyes at Stamford Bridge last week was conspicuous by its absence. At times, he seemed to sag as he tried to explain where it had all gone so wrong. It's one step forward, two steps back for United, and the optimism generated by two improved performances against Stoke City and Chelsea...

Anthony Martial shines again, but Manchester United full of 5/10s

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop reacts to Man United's disappointing 2-1 defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

As has been the case throughout Louis van Gaal's time at the club, whenever Manchester United start to look like they're capable of achieving something, the team falls apart.

On the back of three good performances -- with United playing attacking football against Derby, Stoke and Chelsea -- Van Gaal's men just didn't show up at the Stadium of Light and lost 2-1 against Sunderland. As was the case with David Moyes, who seemed to break a long-standing record every week, the Dutchman has now overseen...

Manchester United slump to another defeat as Sunderland are given hope

Lamine Kone's goal in the 82nd minute lifted Sunderland over Manchester United at the Stadium of Light.
Wayne Rooney laments Man United's dismal display against Sunderland.
ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop reacts to Man United's disappointing 2-1 defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

SUNDERLAND, England -- Three points from Sunderland's late 2-1 win over Manchester United in the Premier League at the Stadium of Light.

1. Sunderland end home hoodoo

Sunderland had never beaten Manchester United in the league at the Stadium of Light. You have to go back to 1997 when they beat Sir Alex Ferguson's men 2-1 at the old Roker Park for the last home win.

They could not have picked a better time to break their duck.

Lamine Kone's powerful header ricocheted home off David De Gea in the 82nd...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

What's trending: LVG 'disappointed,' Jerome Valcke banned 12 years

The FC crew discuss Manchester United's potential record-breaking profits, but recent failure to bring in top talent.

Here are the top stories from Friday:

MAN UNITEDLouis van Gaal directed questions to the boardroom when asked if he believes he can remain manager of Manchester United next season, a day after saying both he and Manchester United's ownership are "disappointed" by results this season.

- Van Gaal also piled pressure on Leicester City and Tottenham, claiming there will come a time when the inexperienced title-challengers "have to win."

- United suffered a triple injury blow with Phil Jones,...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Leicester & Arsenal in showdown, City vs. Spurs & United vs. Sunderland

The ESPN FC crew look at the key players in this intriguing Premier League title race.
The ESPN FC crew look at the key players in this intriguing Premier League title race.
The ESPN FC crew look at the key players in this intriguing Premier League title race.
The ESPN FC crew look at the key players in this intriguing Premier League title race.
The ESPN FC crew look at the key players in this intriguing Premier League title race.

Arsenal may never have a better chance to end their 12-year wait for a Premier League trophy but Leicester stand in their way and remain the story of the season.

The pair clash on Sunday when the top four are all in action against one another. Manchester City, fighting Arsenal and Leicester in the title race, face a Tottenham side who have emerged as surprise contenders as well.

Manchester United, meanwhile, seek to get closer to those above them in the hunt for the top four and the Champions League...

Man United won't improve until off-field work of Ed Woodward improves

The FC crew discuss Manchester United's potential record-breaking profits, but recent failure to bring in top talent.

It seems a virtual certainty that Louis van Gaal will leave Manchester United at the end of this season, the second of three years on his contract. Whether his eventual replacement is Jose Mourinho, as everybody seems to expect, or a dark-horse candidate like Mauricio Pochettino, the Dutchman's era is almost over. It hasn't been a particularly successful reign, but that has a lot more to do with United as a club than with Van Gaal as a manager.

The entire point of hiring Louis Van Gaal was to...