Van Gaal started Fellaini and Morgan Schneiderlin at Anfield but the move backfired as Liverpool outmuscled the duo and got in behind several times.
Fellaini was moved to a more advanced position in the second half but he struggled to get things going for Man United as goals from Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino gave Liverpool a huge advantage ahead of the second leg at Old Trafford next week. Speaking after the game, van Gaal defended Fellaini:
Van Gaal on BT Sport: "I have to say that Fellaini was one of the best players on the pitch."
Oh, Louis ………
— Oliver Kay (@OliverKay) March 10, 2016
The statement is beyond parody; no-one in a United shirt, save for an inspired David de Gea, can be pleased with their performance against Liverpool.
Fellaini played to give United a physical presence in the middle of the park but the Belgian failed to get in amongst the Liverpool players and make himself a nuisance.
He, like van Gaal, will have to be moved on in the summer if United are to recover from what has been a disastrous campaign.