Champions League

Van Gaal seeks last 16 qualification

2015-11-24 08:48
Louis van Gaal (Supplied)
Louis van Gaal (Supplied)

Manchester - Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal hopes to cock another snook at his critics when his team host PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday needing victory to progress in the Champions League.

Despite ongoing criticism over the quality of their football, United climbed to second place in the Premier League table after edging Watford 2-1 on Saturday and will have an opportunity to take over at the summit this weekend when they visit surprise leaders Leicester City.

A place in the Champions League last 16 will be theirs if they prevail at Old Trafford on Wednesday and for all the brickbats being flung at him by pundits and former United players such as Paul Scholes, Van Gaal knows that he is fulfilling his objectives.

"If we beat PSV, then we will have qualified," he told MUTV.

"It is very important to win, but it is not easy because every game you have to play you cannot say we will beat them.

"PSV also beat Wolfsburg and I think that they are a very good team. They also beat Manchester United, of course."

United's chances of progressing from Group B were jeopardised when they lost 2-1 in Eindhoven in their opening game on September 15, but subsequent home wins over Wolfsburg and CSKA Moscow, as well as a 1-1 draw in Moscow, have taken them to the top of the group.

Memphis Depay marked his reunion with PSV by netting United's opener at the Philips Stadion and like his club, his status has evolved in the two months since.

Depay was dropped following United's 3-0 loss at Arsenal on October 4 and was a substitute in five of the next six games before making a goal-scoring return to the starting XI at Watford on Saturday, where Troy Deeney's cruel 90th-minute own goal gave the visitors victory. 

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