Speaking after the game, the manager was notably pleased with the quality of the goal.
“I always like team goals and the second one was a team goal, building up from the back and then switching the play to the other side and then a finish like that, it was fantastic,” van Gaal told MUTV.
“I also liked the first goal because it was also a team goal – a cross from [Cameron] Borthwick-Jackson on his birthday, an assist and then Jesse [Lingard] coming in from the other side. I am very happy.”
United were, once upon a time, renowned and feared for their ruthless attacking prowess on the break.
Under van Gaal, however, whose game plan revolves around a patient, methodical, possession based approach, counterattacking goals like Cristiano Ronaldo’s against Arsenal in 2009 feel as if they belong to a different universe.
Tuesday saw United make a rare revisit to that attacking ethos of yesteryear, which relied entirely on power and pace on the break. It was arguably the best goal Old Trafford has witnessed all season, and supporters will be hoping to see more scintillating attacking moves in the latter stages of the campaign.