Having beaten Liverpool on Sunday afternoon, Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United remain very much in the hunt for the Premier League title.
A second-half Wayne Rooney goal – his first at Anfield since 2005 – was enough to earn three points for the visitors, who are now unbeaten in their last five matches following a run of seven without success. And with Arsenal and Leicester City both dropping points at the weekend, van Gaal is more than aware that his side are now just seven points behind the joint-leaders.
Asked whether he thought his team had a chance of the title, the Dutchman told Sky Sports: “We have a lot of matches to go. This game will give a huge boost to the players, the fans and to everyone connected with United – and we have to continue, of course. That will not be easy, as we saw today, but we can do it because we showed every week that we can do it.”
Whilst it would be foolish to rule United out of the race, there is little doubt they would have to improve their performances significantly to claim a 21st title. They showed vulnerability in the 3-3 draw at Newcastle United last week, in which they threw away the lead twice, and were largely dismal in the narrow wins over Swansea City and League One side Sheffield United.
In reality, a top-four place should be the target for van Gaal’s men. At present they are just two points behind Tottenham Hotspur who occupy this position, with 22 matches of the campaign played. The Red Devils travel to White Hart Lane in April for what will almost certainly be a key fixture, and they also have to travel to Chelsea and Manchester City before the end of the season.