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Van Gaal and Rashford..

Louis van Gaal says he 'saw the gap' before Marcus Rashford's goal

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Louis van Gaal has dished out some well-earned praise to Manchester United's young striker Marcus Rashford, who took another step towards stardom with a fantastic goal against West Ham United.

With the FA Cup quarter-final tie in the balance, Rashford broke the deadlock in the 54th minute after bursting into the box and curling the ball past Darren Randolph into the far corner. Even Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer would not have saved it.

The goal certainly came as a shock to Slaven Bilic's Hammers, who had been working hard to establish themselves in the game before the 18-year-old stunned Upton Park into silence. It would prove to be definitive as Manchester United won 2-1 after goals from Marouane Fellaini and a consolation from West Ham's James Tomkins.

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It was his sixth goal for the Red Devils and his first since scoring an equally important winner against Manchester City in last month's derby. Needless to say, the striker is starting to make a case for himself with regards to Euro 2016.

Van Gaal refused to get drawn into such a debate, however, saying: "That's not my job. I'm the manager of Manchester United."

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SHOOT!

But while the Dutchman did not want to talk about Rashford's international future, he was more than happy to wax lyrical about United's latest academy prospect.

What was most interesting about Van Gaal's post-match comments was his revelation that he saw Rashford's goal coming from a mile off and even shouted "shoot" moments before he unleashed the effort.

"I was behind it on the bench and saw the gap in the corner and shouted 'shoot', but to do it is much more difficult"

It is, of course, unlikely Rashford heard him but give the Dutchman some credit where it is due.

Van Gaal continued: "It was a great goal. I was behind it on the bench and saw the gap in the corner and shouted 'shoot', but to do it is much more difficult. A great goal and the dribble, also. He has that quality and he can score a lot of goals.

"He has no nerves, he's very focused on his work. I admire when you are so young and with so much attention now. He's scoring important goals.

"He can cope with that attention and focus on the next match, and when you have criticism he can cope also."

FBL-ENG-FACUP-WEST HAM-MAN UTD

Praise from Bilic

Bilic was also keen to jump on the Rashford bandwagon, gladly praising him despite the obvious disappointment of crashing out of the FA Cup at the quarter-final stage.

"He controlled the ball great and he didn't give the defenders a chance to stop him or slow him down"

The West Ham manager described Rashford's goal as "brilliant" and says his defenders had no chance of stopping him.

"He's done it before in the derby against Manchester City and he scored a brilliant goal here," said Bilic.

"He controlled the ball great and he didn't give the defenders a chance to stop him or slow him down. The finish was excellent, It was a great goal."

West Ham United v Manchester United - The Emirates FA Cup Sixth Round Replay

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Louis van Gaal
Football
Premier League
FA Cup

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