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Dublin: 12°C Friday 23 April 2021

Van Gaal 'convinced' Rooney would end goal drought, praises 'beautiful' United

Manchester United’s 3-0 victory over Sunderland left the manager delighted.

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal expressed delight after his team won today.
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal expressed delight after his team won today.

LOUIS VAN GAAL described Manchester United’s goals as “beautiful” as his side ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against Sunderland to go top of the Premier League.

The Dutchman said before the game that he was “convinced” Wayne Rooney would end his long league goal drought, and he was proved right as the England captain forced home Anthony Martial’s low cross just after half-time to break a barren spell that lasted 1,000 minutes.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, United boss Van Gaal said: “For himself it’s very important but not for me.

“We have to score goals as a team. But I am very happy for him. I must praise my players for the win, we scored beautiful goals.”

Memphis Depay put United ahead deep in first-half injury time, slotting home Juan Mata’s precise centre. Mata then scored a late third to add deserved gloss to the scoreline.

Van Gaal insisted he does not care who scores United’s goals and picked out Martial’s performance for praise. The teenager was a constant threat and held the ball up well.

He said: “He was one of the main keys why we have won this game. He’s not only a goalscorer, he can create goals, so I am very happy with him.”

United knew a win against rock-bottom Sunderland at Old Trafford would be enough to go top of the league after rivals Manchester City lost 4-1 at Tottenham earlier on Saturday.

“It’s not so easy playing under pressure to go top of the league,” said Van Gaal.

“I am a very happy coach. I could rotate again, it was a good result, we are top of the league…I am a happy coach.”

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