A glorious performance on Sunday afternoon credited Manchester United with a superb win over local rivals Manchester City as home side came from a goal down to register a 4-2 win at Old Trafford.
Uniteda s Dutch manager Louis van Gaal, who has come under severe media scrutiny over his first season at the club, was delighted with his sidea s performance and, as always, had the utmost belief in his players.
It was the Red Devilsa first win over City in five attempts as they ended a run of four straight defeats against the a noisy neighborsa . Earlier in the season, a ten-man United had gone down 1-0 to City at the Etihad Stadium.
The win also puts United firmly in-charge of their destiny when it comes to a Champions League berth next season. But, Van Gaal feels United should be doing better than that.
“We are now four points ahead of City for third place and that is very important,” Van Gaal told BBC Sport.
With only six games to go, Van Gaala s troops are looking increasingly likely to finish above City. It has been a remarkable turn of events for the Red Devils who have only lost only two games out of the last ten and are on a six-game winning run.
While the home side went into the match as the form team, the start to the match wasna t quite what they had expected. Sergio Aguero scored from a brilliant City move in the ninth minute stunning the home support. Van Gaala s side showed immense will and character to bounce right back, with Ashley Young catching a lucky break after his initial shot off a Ander Herrera cross was blocked well by Gael Clichy.
From the moment they scored that equalizer, United looked like the better side and went on to score another one as Young turner provider for Marouane Fellainia s goal which gave United a 2-1 lead going into half time.
United started from where they left off after the break, adding another goal through Juan Mata before defender Chris Smalling made it 4-1 when he found himself unmarked around the penalty spot.
Kun Aguero later scored his second goal of the game, with United reduced to ten men following a Michael Carrick injury late in the game.
Van Gaal hailed his sidea s performance, “I am very proud and I’m very happy for the fans.
“It means a lot for the fans – all the players and staff wanted to give a victory to the fans. If anybody deserves it, it is the fans this season.
“The goal we set at the start of the season was to finish in the top four. I’ll be very pleased when we reach that goal.
“I said to [executive vice-chairman] Ed Woodward that it shall not be easy. Now we are in the first four, but we have six games still to play. It is not done yet but we are on our way.”