Louis van Gaal criticised the way Manchester United conceded twice in the Europa League defeat at Liverpool.The Red Devils were beaten 2-0 in the first leg of the Europa League last 16 and United have given themselves a mountain to climb if they are to progress to the last eight.Roberto Firmino stabbed in the second goal to make sure of a win which had seemed a formality during the first half, when Liverpool played United off the park but somehow had only Daniel Sturridge’s penalty to show for it.The final result was greeted with huge cheers from the Anfield crowd. Van Gaal said Liverpool deserved their win, but called both goals “cheap” from the visitors’ point of view.“Liverpool created an atmosphere that was fantastic,” he told BT Sport.“They played very good in the first half and we could not cope with their pressure. David de Gea was fantastic, but I think it was a cheap penalty.“In the second half we changed the shape and had much more of the game but we didn’t create many chances and they scored another cheap goal.”Asked to expand, Van Gaal claimed there was an offside in the build-up to the second goal, while suggesting the contact Memphis Depay made on Clyne was outside the area and not enough to bring the Liverpool player down.“The referee cannot see that, but the hold is outside the box and then he is falling down,” the Dutchman said. “You have to be sharp when you give it. It is a cheap penalty. They deserve the win, but the goals they got are cheap.”In the dying stages of the game Emre Can went down holding his face after an off-the-ball clash with Marouane Fellaini, but Van Gaal said he did not see the incident which could yet land his midfielder in trouble.“I haven’t seen that,” he said.“I have to say Fellaini was one of the best players on the pitch tonight and I’m very sorry when he makes mistakes like that. But I do not know about this because I have not seen it.” 1 The Red Devils were beaten 2-0 at Anfield in the Europa League last 16
And, somehow, they don’t seem to mind spending a fortune on all the consultants, one after the next, who can’t seem to put the LAUSD’s Humpty Dumpty back together again. “I keep questioning all of these costs,” says new school board member Tamar Galatzan. “I’ve never seen a plan that included all of the consultants, all of the costs, who’s responsible for what, where the money’s coming from, how long it’s going to take. “Nothing exists that resembles a transparent, cohesive plan.” Unchecked costs. No plan. No transparency. Sound familiar? In all likelihood, this scandal is nothing more than one of incompetence. But given the LAUSD’s history of shady contracting – think of the Belmont Learning Center – it’s hard not to get conspiratorial-minded about a botched scheme that has benefited no one except for the people paid large sums of money paid to fix it. Think about the costs – $115 million wasted. For a district that recently started charging kids to use its athletic facilities so it could save a piddly $3.8 million, that’s a lot of money that could be doing a lot of good to educate children. Richard Vladovic, another new school board member, has rightly called for a thorough audit of exactly how much has been spent, what’s gone wrong, and why. “It’s bigger than we all believe. We need to look at it totally. I want an accounting of everything – every nook and cranny,” Vladovic says. Vladovic predicts that “when all of this is over” – soon, we hope – “there’s going to be a Judgment Day.” There had better be.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By most accounts, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s woeful payment system has been a disaster. But, really, it all just depends on your point of view. In some ways, the $95 million system has been an unalloyed success. At least for consultants, anyway. Even though the payroll system has underpaid and overpaid thousands of teachers by tens of millions of dollars, it has paid consultants fabulously and right on time. Indeed, certain “experts” in the region scarcely could do better if the malfunctioning machines did nothing but print out $1,000 bills for their personal use. L.A. school board members now warn that the total cost of implementing the system – which has included hiring armies of consultants – could top $210 million. That’s more than double the original price tag, with “fixes” costing $115 million alone. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champTo get a sense of perspective, imagine walking into a car dealership, and spending $35,000 for a brand-new, supposedly top-of-the-line car. Then imagine spending $42,000 on top of that in mechanic’s fees just to get the vehicle to drive properly. Chances are, you’d be talking to your lawyer, right? But the LAUSD says there’s no need to sue Deloitte Consulting, the high-priced firm it paid handsomely to roll out a functional and accurate payroll system – and which never did. Somehow, district bureaucrats seem to be at peace with this incredible failure.