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More injury headaches for United - but LVG says it was a very happy Christmas

United closed the gap on Chelsea and sealed their cup progress over the Christmas period.

Paddy McNair needed staples to close a head injury against Yeovil on Sunday.
Paddy McNair needed staples to close a head injury against Yeovil on Sunday.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER Louis van Gaal said the Christmas period had been a triumph for his team after they beat Yeovil Town to reach the FA Cup fourth round.

While Sunday’s 2-0 win against third-tier opponents who sat 65 places below them in the league ladder was to be expected, Van Gaal was pleased to achieve it, despite picking up two more injured defenders along the way.

Right-back Rafael da Silva suffered a possible fractured cheekbone, while left-back Luke Shaw picked up an ankle problem. Both were substituted at half-time.

“I’m very happy that we have survived this festive period because I don’t have a big squad because of all the injuries. I had a small squad,” Van Gaal said after the match.

“I could not change much and in spite of that we have regained ground on Chelsea by one point after the festive period and we are in the fourth round of the FA Cup. What more can a manager wish for?

I have heard from my fantastic assistant manager (Ryan Giggs) that Man United have not won the FA Cup for 10 years and maybe we can do that this year. But it is a very long way.

Rafael left Yeovil’s Huish Park stadium early to have his injury assessed and Van Gaal praised the Brazilian for his commitment while sympathising with his misfortune in getting injured.

“He played through (the pain) because the last few weeks he didn’t play and now he is injured,” said the Dutchman. “He has a fantastic mentality, it’s unbelievable.”

Ander Herrera’s superb 64th-minute strike from outside the penalty area put United ahead before a calm finish from substitute Angel di Maria sealed United’s progress in the final minute of the match.

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On Herrera’s strike, Van Gaal said: “It’s his class. It’s not his first goal from outside the box and it was a fantastic goal. There was a little bit of luck, but you need that and I was very happy with him.”

Gary Johnson, the Yeovil manager, had warned his players not to ask for ‘selfies’ with Rooney and his illustrious team-mates before the match, but he was proud of their performance on the day.

“I wanted to make sure we gave them a fright and we did that,” Johnson said.

When the boys get home, they’ll realise what they’ve done here. I don’t think there was £159 million between the sides.

- © AFP, 2014

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