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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 26 January 2021

Van Gaal: I think it was more or less a stolen victory

It was far from pretty but his side got the job done.

Manchester United manager LouisvanGaal
Manchester United manager LouisvanGaal

MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER Louis van Gaal felt his team rode their luck in the 1-0 Premier League win over Everton on Sunday.

Anthony Martial netted United’s 1000th home goal of the Premier League era on the day Old Trafford celebrated Bobby Charlton, with the club icon granted a rousing reception as the South Stand was re-named in his honour.

But Phil Jagielka struck the crossbar after Martial’s opener and United were forced to doggedly hold out for a victory that moves them to within one point of fourth-placed rivals Manchester City.

“I think it was more or less a stolen victory,” Van Gaal told Sky Sports.

“We didn’t play so well, it looked like we were not fresh. In the international break you never know when the players are coming back, how they will be.

“It was a fantastic goal, I have to say, but they could have scored two goals also I think. We were the lucky team.

“They played a little bit different than we expected. We have played much better against other teams but today we win and that is the most important thing.

“We want to give also entertainment for the fans but the fans are entertained today because of the tension.”

Van Gaal was pleased to maintain United’s momentum after their win over City before the international break and is hopeful of a return to top form against title-chasing Tottenham next weekend.

“It is very important [to win] or the victory against City is worthless,” he said.

“We are still in the race and still have four home matches, with a very important game against Tottenham first.

“We have played all our best matches [against the top teams] so I hope we will continue with that.”

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According to Van Gaal, defender Daley Blind was substituted during the closing stages due to fatigue.

“He is at the end of his strengths so I will give him two days off and then he will be alright.”

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