Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal (LVG) has described the battle for a top-four place as still a “rat race” despite an impressive display at Old Trafford on Saturday that saw Wayne Rooney score a stunning goal in their 3-1 win over Aston Villa.
The win gave LVG an eight-point advantage over Brendan Rodgers’ fifth-placed Liverpool. Much to the displeasure of United’s bitter rivals Manchester City, who are currently fourth pending a positive away result at Crystal Palace today.
Ander Herrera and Wayne Rooney gave United a two-goal lead before Villa’s Christian Benteke pulled one back with a low strike. Herrera sealed the victory with a side-footed finish in injury time.
United’s main aim this year according to LVG is to return to the Champions League, after a season without European football. The Red Devils seem to be on course to achieve that, owing to a good streak of 13 wins out of 15 Premier League home games.
Van Gaal’s side now faces a vital period with a home derby against Manchester City, before heading to Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge where Jose Morinho’s leaders await them.