Manchester United got the three points it needed to keep pace with Man City in the race for the Top Four, but that was merely a small measure of comfort for its manager.
[ MATCH RECAP: Manchester United 1-0 Everton ]
Louis Van Gaal branded the win “a stolen victory”, saying his side’s performance was substandard in the win over Everton at Old Trafford.
“It was more or less a stolen victory. We didn’t play so well, it looked like we were not fresh. You never know how the players will come back from the international break. We were today the lucky team.
“They played a little bit different than we expected. We want to give entertainment for the fans, but the fans were entertained today because of the tension. If we lose today, the victory against Manchester City is worthless. Now we are still in the race. We have a very important game against Tottenham.”
Van Gaal is being a bit harsh on his charges, who didn’t finish well but got some timely tackles and saves from several players.
It’s good for big club to have lofty expectations and Van Gaal knows how his room reacted to the game and the break. We’re thinking this might be one of those “message sending” press conferences, where the team has something reinforced by the headlines.