Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal praised his side after a ‘fantastic’ display that helped them sink Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday, while also admitting that it was a great response to the defeat against Arsenal.

Roberto Martinez’s men crashed to a 3-0 loss to Manchester United, thanks to goals from Morgan Schneiderlin, Ander Herrera and Wayne Rooney. The victory keeps United within two points of Manchester City ahead of next week’s derby, and Van Gaal believes his team is moving in the right direction.

“I’m very proud of them because it was a difficult situation after the defeat at Arsenal – for two weeks I cannot approach them, then a lot of meetings, then this performance – fantastic.” Van Gaal told SkySports.

The 64-year old changed his personnel and tactics, with Wayne Rooney spearheading the United line-up and Anthony Martial on the left. Van Gaal also said that he was elated at the sight of Wayne Rooney getting on the score sheet, but believes the goalscorer is immaterial, as long as the team is winning.

Van Gaal said: “It doesn’t matter who is scoring, we have to score like a team and when we score three I’m happy, but because of the attention on Wayne I’m very happy he scored his goal.

“I believe he scored his last goal here in 2007 or something. That’s crazy, but I think he shall score more.”

Possible title contenders?

After the Sir Alex Ferguson years, this is the first time Manchester United look like potential title contenders, after a great deal of turmoil for three years. United fans have been patient with Louis Van Gaal, and it is now paying them dividends, with the Dutchman finally starting to deliver the goods at Old Trafford. Their ‘noisy neighbors’, Manchester City, got an emphatic 5-1 win against Bournemouth, on Saturday, which makes next week’s Manchester Derby, a top of the table six-pointer.