Louis van Gaal believes that Manchester United have made sufficient progress over the summer to make the challengers for the title in this campaign.
United took full advantage of Manchester City’s shock home defeat against West Ham on Saturday by grabbing a 3-2 win over Southampton away from home. New summer signing Anthony Martial displayed his quality once more by scoring two goals while former club record signing Juan Mata scored the crucial winner. Even though Southampton responded in a positive fashion, United were able to hold on for the narrow victory.
Van Gaal believes that it is these kind of results that determine the success of a title challenge. Last season, United were not able to get over the edge despite playing better than their opponents. This was largely because of poor finishing and being unable to take their chances. The Dutchman says that these frailties have been corrected and United are now at their potent best. Beating Southampton, who have tasted only one victory this season, is unlikely to come as a major test of their strength. However, United have moved within two points of table leaders City with both teams having played six games each. The next three matches in all competitions for United are at Old Trafford.
“It’s a fantastic result away at Southampton and I think we have made a statement that we shall compete for the title.What I am saying all the time is that we have to improve. But last year we were close enough to be the champions.Scoring is the most important thing, you have seen that today, Southampton could have scored to go 2-0 up in the first 15 minutes but they didn’t do it and then we scored. We were the better team after that,” said Van Gaal.