Van Gaal hails impact of Fellaini against West Ham

by Ben Topliss

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has praised Marouane Fellaini after he stepped off the bench to help the Red Devils salvage a 1-1 draw against West Ham United on Sunday.

United produced a poor performance in the game and West Ham’s Cheikhou Kouyate eventually opened the scoring in the second half.

The goal prompted Fellaini’s introduction and he helped United create more chances as Daley Blind scored late to rescue a point for United. Van Gaal believes the substitution was vindicated as it changed the game.

Speaking about Fellaini’s cameo, van Gaal said: “I think with Fellaini, you have to change your style of play and that we have done.

“Because of Fellaini, we have created a lot of chances because I think we had the three open chances before the goal.

“Normally, you can win this game also, in spite of the bad first half. But okay, I am pleased that we have a draw here.”

Despite United’s attacking riches they struggled to create any meaningful chances against West Ham. Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao’s partnership continued to frustrate, Wayne Rooney looked poor in midfield and Angel di Maria was not his usual vibrant self.

Players like Fellaini, who joined for £27.5m, could and should provide a welcome Plan B for United. The 27-year-old provides a grit and determination in midfield and is exactly the type of player Van Gaal will need as he looks to grind out results against tough opponents like West Ham.

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