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Premier League: Manchester United manager Loius Van Gaal provides data to press to disprove Big Sam's 'long ball' claims

Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has responded to Sam Allardyce's claims that United played 'long ball' tactics in their game on Sunday.

The West Ham manager, who has long been associated with playing long ball tactics, was critical of United's style of play during the two sides' 1-1 draw at Upton Park.

Questions have been raised about the tactics and selections of Van Gaal after another rather toothless attacking display which was only saved by a late equaliser, after United played most of the second half in a very direct manor.

Only Burnley have attempted more long balls in the league this season, but in his pre match press conference on Tuesday, Van Gaal tried to distinguish the difference between long balls direct play.

The Dutchman said that long ball tactics look to hit the central striker, where was the style that United play looks to hit diagonal balls out wide.

He also produced a handout which showed the number of long balls played to the central strikers both by United and West Ham, with the latter having played the majority of their long balls down the middle.

The manager then gave the handout to members of the press so that they could see his 'interpretation' of the match data.

The incident recalls a previous press conference with former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez, who before a clash with United read out a list of 'facts' relating to Sir Alex Ferguson and his side.

United take on Burnley at Old Trafford on Wednesday looking to close the gap to their City rivals.

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