Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal was less than happy with comments made by club legend Gary Neville which criticised the Red Devils’ performance during the 2-1 win away at Southampton.
Following the result last night, which saw United move up to 3rd place in the Premier League table for the first time since 2013, Neville used both his punditry position at Sky Sports and social media to lambast his former side’s football, claiming that this weekend’s fixture with long-term rivals Liverpool could turn out to be like watching a pub match.
Immediately after the game Van Gaal responded in a fashion with inferred great annoyance on his part, branding Neville an ‘ex-club legend’ and disagreeing with his words.
“The former player of United?” asked Van Gaal when quizzed on England coach Neville's comments.
“That's an English expression? Hmm: maybe (United got away with murder).
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“He can say everything because he is an ex-legend, but as an ex-legend, or a legend, you have to know what you are saying.
"He can say everything because he is an ex-legend, but as an ex-legend, or a legend, you have to know what you are saying"
“You can interpret: make an interpretation of that.
“It's not so difficult to make an interpretation, when I say he has to pay attention to his words.”
Of course the Dutchman will have reason to be happy given the result, particularly as his side have now won five Premier League fixtures in a row. Despite the clash at St. Mary’s yielding yet another drab performance - Van Gaal himself admitted several players weren’t at the races - the points are trickling in at a steady pace at Old Trafford, and the aim of Champions League football is becoming more and more realistic with each passing week.
With the injury woes that have plagued Van Gaal since his appointment as boss diminishing it looks as though the Red Devils have been through the worst patch of fortune they can expect this term.
Big tests to come
Though challenging the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea for the league looks unlikely given that they’re already eight points off top and still have to play the latter away, a top-four finish is certainly within their grasp.
Next up for United is Liverpool this weekend, who themselves have endured struggles this campaign. Brendan Rodgers’s side are a far-cry from the outfit that came within an inch of winning the Premier League last season, and with their recent form as woeful as it is Van Gaal would be forgiven for sensing a real opportunity to grab points at Old Trafford.
United vs Liverpool kicks off at 13:30pm on Saturday, with the Red Devils having the chance to go within two points of City if they win and their biggest rivals lose.