Fellaini jostled for space all game and ultimately played a vital role by setting up Juan Mata for Man United’s opening goal in the first half.
Up against an imposing Cambridge side, Fellaini made his presence felt and that’s something which pleased van Gaal.
“With Fellaini, we have always also an attacking point through the air,” van Gaal said after the game.
“Cambridge have very tall players and we could score also in the air and not only along the floor. That was our game plan and he [Fellaini] confirmed that [his aerial prowess] again.
“I think we could have scored more goals. In the second half, we played a little bit more forward and I believe we created more chances. Robin van Persie had four possibilities so we could have scored more but I am very happy the first chance of the match, for Cambridge, was against the post.”
It was a very David Moyes tactic which Van Gaal adopted against Cambridge where Man United opted for long balls and crosses rather than short, precise football. Aesthetically it wasn’t the prettiest to watch but ultimately it worked given that United walked away with the win.
Whether Van Gaal will choose to use the same tactics away at a physical West Ham side on Sunday remains to be seen and Fellaini’s inclusion in the starting XI may well depend on that.