Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes his side have set themselves up well to advance into the Champions League group stages after beating Club Brugge 3-1 in the first leg of their playoff on Tuesday.
Van Gaal’s side now have the comfort of a two goal lead when they visit Brugge next Wednesday and the experienced Dutchman has not downplayed the importance of the third goal, scored by Fellaini.
The manager was, however, still disappointed that United could only muster three goals on the night following a number of good chances.
When asked about the third goal, van Gaal said: ”It makes a difference because 2-1 is a very difficult result. We deserved much more because we created a lot of chances. It is what I am always saying, you have to be effective. We have a lot of chances and only three goals.”
After conceding an away goal to Brugge early on, United were under pressure to put on a good attacking display, something they have failed to do so far this season. The introduction of Fellaini brought about the killer blow with an injury time goal and van Gaal was evidently delighted with the Belgian’s impact.
“I am happy because of the last goal. We have practiced that before when we need Fellaini, we put him in the penalty area because he has that quality,” van Gaal said.
Having recorded a win in his first European game as United manager, van Gaal must now turn his attention back to the Premier League for the visit of Newcastle United on Saturday. The Dutchman will definitely rest easier now that his side can take a comfortable lead to Belgium next week.