LVG makes Champions League claim

Louis van Gaal is confident of leading Manchester United into the Champions League after Sunday’s 1-0 derby win at Manchester City.

Man United: LVG makes Champions League claimMan United: LVG makes Champions League claim

The 171st Manchester derby was always likely to have a huge impact on the remainder of the campaign, with City hoping to keep their faint title hopes alive and United looking to avoid their top-four hopes being extinguished.

Van Gaal admitted in the build-up to Sunday’s match that defeat would all but end their Champions League hopes, but his side produced a manful display to close the gap on misfiring City.

Marcus Rashford’s first-half strike at the Etihad Stadium saw his first Manchester derby end in a 1-0 win, making his manager believe a top-four finish is still within their grasp.

“I have said in advance that we must win this game and we have done it, so I am very happy because otherwise the gap was too big if they won,” Van Gaal said.

“Or a draw is still four points, eight matches to go, so then it should be very difficult.

“Now it is in our own hands, I think. We have to win our games, we have more home matches than away matches. We don’t lose so much at Old Trafford so we have a big chance.”

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