Shrewsbury (England): Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has hailed his “committed” team for their performance as they swept aside English football club Shrewsbury Town 3-0 to set up an FA Cup quarter-final clash at home against West Ham United.
Chris Smalling, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard scored one each to steer the team to a comfortable victory.
“The performance was very good. I said that already at half-time to my players. They were very committed, they performed our game plan very well and the consequences were we were ahead 2-0 at half-time – a lucky goal from Smalling but a very good free-kick from Mata,” van Gaal was quoted as saying by The Guardian on Monday.
It was just the response that van Gaal needed after his side’s hopeless performance in Denmark on Thursday when United were beaten 1-2 by Midtjylland in a Europa League Round of 32 match.
Van Gaal made no attempt to play down the significance of the Midtjylland tie, fully aware that it represents United’s best opportunity to play in Europe’s premier club competition next season.
“In my opinion it’s a big game because it’s a chance to qualify for the Champions League next season, but we have to win a lot of matches. Of course it’s easily spoken but done is different. But it is possible and then we’ll see,” the United manager said.
“In March a lot of players are coming back and then we’ll have a full selection, and with our full selection we were first in the Premier League.”