Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal expressed his delight after watching his team end an eight-game win-less run against Swansea at Old Trafford on Saturday, starting the new calendar year with a long overdue victory.
"I am very happy for the players because they had to play under big pressure and now we have won. We are still near the top of the league and the gap is less. So that's football," van Gaal told the BBC after the final whistle.
"That's a season. A season takes eight months or something like that and not one month," he added, referring to the poor run of form in December that preceded this result.
Perhaps most importantly for United, they managed to create chances and score goals. Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney ultimately made the difference, with United finishing the 90 minutes with 19 attempts on goal, and six on target.
"We've started the new year very well. I think we played very risky, very attacking, with three defenders, but we wanted to win and scored two fantastic goals today. That's the difference," Van Gaal went on to say to MUTV.
On the performance of his two strikers, the manager said, "Martial had one goal and one assist but you could say Rooney had the same, as the run he made to the first post was very important for Martial - it gave him space to get the ball and, of course, the cross from Ashley Young was good.
"Wayne's goal, with his left foot behind his other foot, was fantastic."
United scored both goals of the 2-1 win in the second half, but Van Gaal actually felt the first 45 minutes were a more polished overall display.
"We scored two fantastic goals and you only win by scoring goals but, as a team, our performance in the first half was better," he said. "We didn't give any chances away in the first half."
Next up for Van Gaal and his team is the FA Cup third round tie against League One side Sheffield United in a weeks' time.
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