Louis van Gaal believes Arsenal possess a better team than newly crowned Premier League champions Chelsea, but says their lack of killer instinct is what gave Jose Mourinho's side the upper-hand in this year's domestic title race.
The Manchester United manager's controversial comments come as his team prepare to welcome the Gunners to Old Trafford, and is sure to be welcomed by the travelling contingent of supporters for Sunday's high-profile encounter.
By contrast, Van Gaal's view is sure to anger fans of the west London club, particularly when you consider how easily they secured top spot in 2014/15.
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Speaking ahead of today's clash which could help determine who is going to finish runner-up, the veteran Dutch coach outlined his need for Manchester United to establish a more ruthless streak like Chelsea's if they are going to challenge for honours next term.
“I have not given the team a winning mentality yet because we are not champions and I think that is a quality of the champions," he is quoted saying by the Sunday People.
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“We have improved lot, but we have to learn to do what Chelsea have done in the way they can play and finish the games – that is the big difference now between us and them.
“I think Arsenal maybe have a better team but they cannot finish off opponents like Chelsea. That is also about talent and experience like John Terry and Gary Cahill. That is the difference.”
Assessing his own side's displays against their top four rivals this term, Van Gaal was pretty complimentary about the way his players have performed on the whole during his debut season at the Theatre of Dreams.
“In big games, we have performed well. We played City with 10 men at the Etihad and we were better. And also, in our home game [against City], better," he explained.
“Arsenal were better at home than us even though we won, but we were better here in the FA Cup when we lost. With Chelsea we were equal at home and at Stamford Bridge much better, in spite of what Mourinho has said.
“Against Tottenham, both times, we were better. Liverpool at home was an exaggerated scoreline for us. but at Anfield we played fantastic football. So the difference is not the level of the performance, it is the ability to finish off the game. And Chelsea has done that the best of all the top teams.”
Do you agree with Louis van Gaal's statement that Arsenal are a better footballing side than Chelsea? Share your thoughts in the comment box below...