Louis van Gaal, Manchester United manager put his side's 2-1 defeat by FC Midtjylland down to Murphy's law.
Pione Sisto and Paul Onuachu gave the hosts victory, even though emphis Depay put the visitors ahead in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie.
Without 13 players already, during the warm-up, Van Gaal lost David de Gea and used an adage that means anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
Speaking on the issue, the Dutchman said, “It is the law of Murphy I think. A lot of things are happening in the heads of the players and in the first 10 or 15 minutes we were not so good.”
Saying that, the first half was good, Van Gaal cursed the second half saying, “In the second half we didn't win any duels, any second balls. You cannot afford a second goal, but we could have scored also. Jesse Lingard had two remarkable chances.”
On the other side, united fans in the MCH Arena made it clear they were not impressed with their side's display.
Accepting that their second half performance was poor, Van Gaal still defended the attitude of his players.
“All the players want to perform in an excellent way. It is not a case of attitude. We were not winning the second balls - that is my analysis,” he said.
With a knee problem, De Gea hobbled out of the warm-up, but Sergio Romero proved an able deputy - making several fine saves.
Van Gaal was unable to say how long his first-choice goalkeeper would be out for.
He said, “We have to wait for a scan, then maybe we can say more, but it was a big surprise.”
By Phani Ch