Louis Van Gaal: Man United manager pleased with 'best' match

By Chris BevanBBC Sport at Old Trafford
Robin van Persie goal was beautiful - Van Gaal

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal felt his side's 3-0 win over Hull was their most accomplished performance of the season.

United enjoyed 76% of possession as they eased to a third successive win to stay fourth in the Premier League.

"It was the best match of our season," Van Gaal said.

"What pleased me the most was the way we dominated the game from the first minute to the last minute. It was the first time we have done that."

He added: "We created many chances, we did not give the ball away too much unnecessarily and we kept a clean sheet again."

United's fourth clean sheet in 13 league games this season was helped by Hull's approach, which was to defend deep and in numbers.

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Ince on BBC Match of the Day
"Louis van Gaal said it would be a work in progress. He's had a nightmare with injuries, especially defensively. His ambition is to finish in the top four, he's not looking to win the league. They are slightly improving game by game."

"We knew in advance they would probably come with five defenders and a full midfield," Van Gaal added. "So we trained to play the ball quick and we did that.

"When we come forward it has to be quick, and we did that against Hull much more than ever. I was very pleased and I told the players that at half-time and after the match too."

Chris Smalling's scrambled goal gave United an early lead before fine finishes from Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie made sure of the points.

Van Gaal had criticised Van Persie before the game, saying he had a "very bad game" in last weekend's win at Arsenal and "needed to score a special goal" to regain his self-belief.

The 31-year-old Dutch striker did exactly that, fizzing in United's third goal into the top corner from 25 yards out.

"Scoring a goal like that gives you confidence - I needed it to be honest," Van Persie said.

Angel Di Maria
Manager Louis van Gaal said Angel Di Maria would miss United's next match against Stoke on Tuesday

"We played really well, you could see that in the way we passed the ball. Every week it gets quicker or better and we could have won 4-0 or 5-0 in the end."

Van Persie, who had also set up Rooney for his goal, was replaced by Radamel Falcao a few minutes after finding the net and he left the pitch to a standing ovation, with the crowd singing his name.

Match of the Day's Danny Murphy said: "He wasn't perfect but showed glimpses of why he has been kept in the team. There were some brilliant connections with Wayne Rooney which we haven't seen recently.

"It was a wonderful strike from a player who has been struggling with confidence. He's got immense quality, he's set his standards so high that when he falls short he gets criticised. There is still more to come."

Van Gaal said: "I am very pleased that Robin scored and that he had a big influence on this game. He scored three goals on the training ground so I had a good feeling for him.

"In the beginning he played at number 10, until I was forced to put him again in the striker's position because of Angel Di Maria's injury (after 13 minutes).

"I think he played better in the striker's position than he did at number 10, where you have to pass more than he did.

"A striker always needs a goal and I am very happy for him that he scored but I am sure he can play better than he did."

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