English Premiership

Anfield win will fire title belief, says Van Gaal

2016-01-18 10:00
Louis van Gaal (Supplied)
Louis van Gaal (Supplied)

Liverpool - Manchester United's smash-and-grab 1-0 victory at Liverpool will strengthen conviction that they can yet end a difficult season as Premier League champions, according to manager Louis van Gaal.

Wayne Rooney's 78th-minute goal at a chilly Anfield on Sunday earned United an opportunistic win over their arch rivals, which left the 20-time champions seven points below leaders Arsenal in fifth place.

United had been second-best by some distance until then, but following a run of four straight defeats over Christmas that saw Van Gaal's position called into question, they are now unbeaten in five games and their manager believes the title is still a viable objective.

"I think to beat Liverpool is always important and today (Sunday) it was important because our competitors have lost points," he said.

"When the gap is seven points, you can oversee (overcome) that. So that's what I'm thinking.

"We have a lot of matches still to go. We started 2016 very good with a lot of wins, a draw (3-3 at Newcastle United), and we didn't lose.

"I think this game shall give a big boost to the players, to the fans, to everybody in the environment of Manchester United.

"We have to continue. That's not so easy. We have seen that today, but we can do it. We show every week that we can do it."

Castigated in some quarters for his performances over the first half of the season, Rooney has become the figurehead of United's mini-revival, scoring five goals in his last four appearances.

He was a peripheral figure against Liverpool until the hosts switched off at a corner, allowing Marouane Fellaini to head against the bar from Juan Mata's cross, and when the ball dropped in the six-yard box, the United number 10 reacted quickest to lash home the winner.

"A striker who scores is always very important," said Van Gaal.

"Now he's scoring in a row and we are winning in a row. It's always like that. I'm very happy for him, but also for Manchester United and for the fans, because everyone wants to see Rooney scoring."

United lost auxiliary right-back Ashley Young to an apparent groin injury late in the first half and Van Gaal admitted to "overloading" the former Aston Villa player due to injuries to his other full-backs.

"I don't think it's a very worse (bad) injury, but we have to wait and see because I am not a doctor," said the Dutchman.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Quiz: Test your Rio Olympics memory!

Think you know what went on at the Rio Olympics? Prove it by tackling Sport24's ridiculously impossible yet highly addictive post-Games quiz!

 
 

Rio Olympics

GALLERY: SA's Rio Olympic medallists
As it happened: Rio Olympics - Day 17
Selecting 6 numbers turned Britain into Olympic superpower
Caster cranks up the heat in Rio semi
Fixtures
27 August 2016
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool, White Hart Lane 13:30
Everton v Stoke City, Goodison Park 16:00
Leicester City v Swansea City, King Power Stadium 16:00
Crystal Palace v Bournemouth, Selhurst Park 16:00
Southampton v Sunderland, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Chelsea v Burnley, Stamford Bridge 16:00
Watford v Arsenal, Vicarage Road 16:00
Hull City v Manchester United, The KC Stadium 18:30
28 August 2016
West Bromwich Albion v Middlesbrough, The Hawthorns 14:30
Manchester City v West Ham United, Etihad Stadium 17:00
10 September 2016
Manchester United v Manchester City, Old Trafford 13:30
Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur, Britannia Stadium 16:00
Arsenal v Southampton, Emirates Stadium 16:00
West Ham United v Watford, Olympic Stadium 16:00
Middlesbrough v Crystal Palace, Riverside Stadium 16:00
Burnley v Hull City, Turf Moor 16:00
Bournemouth v West Bromwich Albion, Vitality Stadium 16:00
Liverpool v Leicester City, Anfield 18:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Will Jose Mourinho lead Manchester United to the English Premiership title in 2016/17?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

Follow all the action from the 2016 Rio Olympics. The highs, the lows, the tears, the smiles as the world's greatest athletes compete for gold, silver and bronze.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.