Van Gaal: Man United has to win out to finish in top four

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Manchester United’s 2-0 win against Crystal Palace on Wednesday leaves the Red Devils just two points off third-place with four games to go.

Louis Van Gaal is having a little smirk at all of those haters.

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However, he knows the job is not done.

After being Palace, LVG was asked about putting pressure on Arsenal and Manchester City ahead of them in the race for the top four. Van Gaal was bullish.

“We are putting pressure on them throughout the season. At the end of the season it counts much more. I’m very happy,” Van Gaal said. “We have four matches to go and we must win them all. Then we have a chance.”

United currently sits fifth in the table on 59 points, while Arsenal sits one place and one point above them but has a game in hand against West Bromwich Albion on Thursday. United has won four of their last five PL games and six of their last eight to put themselves in a strong position heading into their final four games.

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So, who do they have to play? Leicester at home on May 1, then trips to Norwich City on May 7 and West Ham on May 10, plus United finish with a home game against Bournemouth on May 15. It is quite conceivable they can win all four of those games and with Man City and Arsenal squaring off against each other at the Etihad Stadium in the penultimate week of the season, one or both of those teams will drop points.

All of a sudden a top four finish is on for Van Gaal and that could save his job for at least another season.

Van Gaal has another big game to focus on first as United head to Wembley Stadium on Saturday to play Everton (Follow live, 12:30 p.m. ET) in the FA Cup semifinal.

Could the season end with FA Cup glory and a top four finish for Van Gaal? If it did, would he walk and let Jose Mourinho come in? I doubt it. If he does achieve top four and the clubs first piece of silverware since the Sir Alex Ferguson era ended in 2013 then he will stay for the final year of his contract which runs until July 2017.

Interested to see what United’s fans think about that prospect…