Updated: Monday, 19th August 2019 @ 10:17am

Man Utd have eyes on Premier League title not just fourth, says Van Gaal

Man Utd have eyes on Premier League title not just fourth, says Van Gaal

| By Patric Ridge

Louis van Gaal believes that Manchester United are now challenging for the title rather than just a Premier League top-four finish.

The Reds dispatched relegation-threatened Aston Villa in confident fashion at Old Trafford, with a Ander Herrera double and a sublime Wayne Rooney strike sealing a 3-1 triumph.

The result lifted United up into third place, a point above rivals Manchester City, leaving Van Gaal insisting that the title race is still wide open, though the Dutchman admitted that United would need a stroke of luck to claim their 21st league title.

“I’m looking higher up [than just getting into the Champions League],” he said.

“We will have to win every week to do this, but when you give pressure it is possible. Arsenal are also putting on pressure and keep winning.

“So you never know, we can look up in the table, the next match is for the second position or the third.”

United dominated proceedings on Saturday afternoon, and they were rewarded for their good play when Herrera bagged his fourth league goal of the campaign shortly before the interval.

Rooney then added a second with a superb solo effort midway through the second half, controlling Angel Di Maria’s cross on the turn before dispatching an exquisite half-volley into the top corner.

Tim Sherwood’s side did pull one back through Christian Benteke, but the points were wrapped up in stoppage time when Herrera was teed up by Juan Mata on the edge of the box and dully slotted home.

Despite Herrera’s man of the match performance however, United defender Phil Jones singled out skipper Rooney for praise.

“Wayne’s a leader and everybody follows him,” Jones said. 

“He leads by example and doesn’t just say things [to the other players in the dressing room] for the sake of it, it really means something. 

“I think the touch was actually better than the strike, he plucked it out of the air with his weaker foot, swivelled on the half-volley and smacked it into the top corner.

“He made a comment before the game saying it’s no good beating Liverpool if you can’t beat Aston Villa at Old Trafford. Thankfully we’ve done that.”

Main image courtesy of Showmethefootball via YouTube, with thanks.