United boss Van Gaal happy to fight from the front
Louis van Gaal declared himself a â€œhappy coachâ€
after his Manchester United team climbed to the
top of the table with a 3-0 win over Sunderland.
Manchester Cityâ€™s defeat at Tottenham at
lunchtime opened the door for United to move to
the summit and they grasped the opportunity
thanks to goals from Memphis Depay, Juan Mata
and Wayne Rooney, who ended a 999-minute
Premier League goal drought.
Depay ended Sunderlandâ€™s stubborn resistance
by converting Mataâ€™s square pass and after
Rooney had netted in the first minute of the
second half there was no way back for the Black
Cats, who conceded a final goal in the last minute
of normal time.
â€œLast season at this stage I think we were in 13th
position in the league table, so Iâ€™m a happy
coach,â€ the United manager said.
Van Gaal has had his doubters during his 14-
month spell in charge, but United are now top of
the table for the first time since they beat
Swansea 4-1 in David Moyesâ€™ first game in
charge on August 18 2013.
Unitedâ€™s stay at the top of the pile then, just like
Moyesâ€™ tenure, was a brief one â€“ they were
knocked off the top the following day â€“ but Van
Gaal will be hoping his team can remain there for
the rest of the season.
The Dutchman admits that will not be easy,
â€œI think to continue (at the top) is very difficult in
this league,â€ Van Gaal added.
â€œBut it is better than last year when we had 13
points after 10 matches and you have to chase.
When we chased we were fourth.
â€œLast year we had the feeling we could win the
â€œThis year it is a big difference because you can
start better from the top than the bottom.â€
Depayâ€™s first Premier League strike was the pick
of the goals. The Dutchman wandered free of his
marker to tap in after Daley Blind had picked out
Mata with a peach of a long pass.
The fact that Depay scored in the fourth minute of
first-half injury time was appropriate, according to
Van Gaal, because he felt Sunderland were guilty
He said: â€œI was very happy with the goal in extra-
time because they punished themselves. They
were always wasting time and the referee was
not reacting to that.â€
Please LOGIN or REGISTER To Gain Full Access To This Article