Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal thinks last night's 1-0 win over Newcastle United was easily among their best of the season, insisting his side absolutely dominated the game and easily deserved three points despite only scoring in the last minute.
Van Gaal's side certainly controlled possession that's for sure, enjoying a 67.9% share of things on that front. Turning that time on the ball into clear-cut chances remains a problem though, with United only just edging Newcastle 11-9 when it came to shots on goal.
Red Devils fans are far from delighted about the way United keep being forced to grind out matches through sheer desire to succeed late on, but try telling that to a happy man in Van Gaal following success in the North East.
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Is Van Gaal deluded or informed?
The Dutchman was certainly on form in his post-match interview with BT Sport last night, insisting: "I think we have dominated for 90 minutes, maybe our best match of the season, especially in an away match we deserved the victory.
"We didn't reward ourselves in the first half. It was a narrow escape because our rivals have won also so it's a rat race. We have created a lot of chances and could have scored much earlier. They also made two big chances and I think David de Gea rescued us at that time."
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Results are all that matter
Van Gaal clearly prioritises ball retention over almost anything else, which can make United mundane to watch at times to put it politely.
United keep earning the results required to keep their Champions League charge on track though, with two defeats in 21 form which simply doesn't match the criticism currently being thrown Van Gaal's way.
What the hugely experienced tactician is fast realising though is Red Devils fans expect, no demand to be entertained.
Next season has to bring improvements
With competition for a place in the top four huge heading into the business end of the season United will take results by any means necessary, but moving forward Van Gaal has to start getting more out of his best players.
Angel di Maria is a prime example, signed for a British transfer record £59.7 million but clearly still struggling to adapt to life in the Premier League.
It's pretty difficult to make excuses for Van Gaal's preference for a sometimes subdued strategy when you consider he had £150m to spend last summer, but he'll get a pass so long as a return to Europe's top club competition is secured.
Next season has to be different though, because his frosty relationship with a growing section of supporters will not thaw if they continue to persist with their current preference for possession over penetration past the summer.
Man United fans, are you happy with Van Gaal's methods. Was last night's performance against Newcastle anything to shout about? Let us know by having your say in the comment box below!
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