Van Gaal: In-form United 'forcing luck'
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal felt that his side’s 3-0 Premier League victory over Liverpool proved that his methods are beginning to take effect at Old Trafford.
Sunday’s win, secured by goals from Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie, was United’s sixth in a row and galvanised their grip on third place in the table, but there were rough edges to the hosts’ display.
Liverpool created a host of chances, with David de Gea earning the man-of-the-match award for a series of spectacular saves, while Mata’s goal should have been ruled out for offside.
It had been a similar story last Monday when United won 2-1 at Southampton despite registering only three attempts at goal.
But van Gaal believes that United are now a different team to the one that slithered to a seventh-place finish last season following their travails under his hapless predecessor, David Moyes.
Asked for the secret to United’s current form, he said at the post-match press conference: "Because we have a way of playing that always takes into account the qualities of the opponent.
"It’s not for nothing that we scored the way we have scored today. You need luck, but you can force the luck, and we are forcing the luck now. That was not the case at the start."
Miserable few days
The defeat completed a miserable few days for Liverpool, who were knocked out of the Champions League by Basel last Tuesday and now trail United by 10 points.
Manager Brendan Rodgers admitted that his squad had lost some of the team spirit that saw them come within a whisker of pipping Manchester City to the title last season.
"For me, the whole scenario is about looking to build a team again,” said the Northern Irishman.
"We had a team that was growing for a couple of years that has changed now, the squad and injuries and whatnot.
"But we’re having to recapture the team ethos again and that’s something we’re looking to build towards."