When Manchester United fans look back on Louis van Gaal’s time as manager at Old Trafford, they won’t have too many fond memories.
But if the Dutch boss beats Liverpool in the Europa League at Anfield on Thursday, he will write his way into the history books at the club.
That’s because a victory over their arch-rivals would mean Van Gaal would be the first Red Devils manager to win five consecutive competitive matches against Liverpool.
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It’s certainly an achievement that he can look back on with pride if he does leave Old Trafford at the end of the season - something that seems very likely.
However, Van Gaal urged the media not to mention his potential record ahead of the huge clash, in the fear of them jinxing it.
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“When you are writing that it is much more difficult for my players to win the fifth battle against them so don't write it!” he told reporters at his press conference, via Manchester Evening News.
However, if United do get the better of Liverpool on Thursday, Van Gaal admits he would be proud of his achievement.
“But then I shall be in the books with a positive record and that would be fine,” he added.
The beleaguered boss has got one over Liverpool in the previous four Premier League meetings.
He led his side to a comfortable 3-0 win at Old Trafford back in December 2004 with goals from Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie.
With both teams pushing for the all important fourth position in the league come last March, United left Anfield with all three points following a brace from Mata, including a magnificent bicycle kick, in a 2-1 win.
He then oversaw a 3-1 triumph over Liverpool at Old Trafford with Anthony Martial scoring on his debut. It also saw former Reds manager Brendan Rodgers dismissed under a month later after that crushing loss.
Van Gaal proved it doesn’t matter who’s in the Liverpool dugout after he got the better of Jurgen Klopp in January as he took his United side to Anfield and ground out a 1-0 win.
Thursday’s meeting will see the first ever clash between the two sides in a European competition.
But just because it’s the Europa League rather than the Champions League, it doesn’t mean it will be taken likely.
With both clubs having an unrealistic chance of finishing in a top four position, winning this competition is seen as the best chance to qualify for Europe’s elite tournament next season.
United fans may not be loving Van Gaal at this moment in time but if he manages to beat their rivals for the fifth consecutive time, he will always be remembered fondly by the Old Trafford faithful.
Who do you think will progress to the Europa League quarter-final: Liverpool or Manchester United? Let us know in the comments box below!
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