LOUIS VAN GAAL believes Manchester United have a “big chance” of securing a top-four spot following their 1-0 victory over Manchester City.
Marcus Rashford’s goal settled the contest and left the Red Devils in sixth place – but just a point behind their bitter rivals as the battle for the final Champions League spot looks set to go down to the wire.
Van Gaal suggested that anything other than a victory by his side at the Etihad would have spelt the end of their top-four hopes.
The Dutchman said: ”The gap would have been too big if we had drawn or lost. It would have been very difficult.
“Now it is in our own hands but we have to win our games. We have more home matches than away and we don’t lose so much at Old Trafford – so we have a big chance.”
While it’s not entirely in United’s own hands, it seems incredible that after such a season of turmoil they, as Van Gaal rightly said, still have a “big chance” of making the top four.
But if they are to achieve that they will need to do something they haven’t managed so far this campaign – find some consistency.
Too often the odd impressive result in the league has been followed by an immediate slip back to mediocrity.
City, meanwhile, have been on the slide for some time now and confidence must be fragile, while there’s also a sense of uncertainty around the club with Pep Guardiola waiting in the wings to take over from Manuel Pellegrini.
The window of opportunity is there for United but so far they’ve yet to show they are capable of taking it.
Oh .. and there’s also the small matter of West Ham to see off. The Hammers – who host the Red Devils on the penultimate weekend of the season – are also currently a point above United and are playing with a great deal of confidence and style.
Will United finish in the top four?