The 27-year-old opened the scoring with a calm finish to add to goals he’d previously scored against West Brom and Stoke earlier in the campaign.
The Belgian was much maligned during his first season at the club under David Moyes having joined in a £27.5m deal. Fellaini always looked low on confidence and was regularly exposed in the big games but Fellaini now cuts a different, more confident figure and Van Gaal had nothing but praise for him after the game.
Speaking to Manchester United’s website after the game, Van Gaal said: “He is a player who wants to do what you ask and that’s always good for the team.”
Fellaini received ironic cheers every time he touched the ball during a pre-season game against Valencia where he scored the winner with the last kick of the game, his first unofficial goal for the club but since his first goal against West Brom back in October, Fellaini has been much like the Everton player United bought in 2013.
He is constantly a threat in the air, much better with his feet and is offering the goal threat he lacked last season. For a player who was criticised so much in the early stages of his career, Fellaini has done very well to turn it all around and make himself a vital part of Van Gaal’s squad.