Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal hailed derby-day goalscorer Marcus Rashford as a “real striker” after he hit the winner in a 1-0 victory at Manchester City.
Rashford beat Martin Demichelis before slotting past Joe Hart to put United back in contention for a place in the Premier League’s top four, with Van Gaal’s side now a single point behind their local rivals in the hunt for Champions League qualification.
The teenager missed out on a call-up to Roy Hodgson’s England squad this week but Van Gaal was full of praise for his man of the moment, who has scored five goals since making his senior debut last month.
“He is a real striker and that’s why I let him stay in that position, because he can make goals but he is also an attacking point and he runs also the channels,” Van Gaal told Sky Sports.
“I like him very much but still he is 18 years old, so we have to wait and see how consistent he is.”
The Dutchman was delighted with his team’s overall performance after United won for the third time in their last four Premier League matches.
“I am very happy,” Van Gaal said. “I think we played very good, second half we had three chances to score the second, then we have fought until the end.
“A lot of players had cramp – it’s logical when you play Thursday. You see Liverpool did similar too with Southampton 2-0 in the first half, then 3-2 in the second half because they were not recovered.
“I think it is fantastic. I’m happy because it is not easy to win here.
“When I see the dressing room I think it shall give a boost and real belief, it was fantastic to see in the dressing room.
“It was a long time ago since Manchester United have won here so it was fantastic for the fans that we have won.”
Van Gaal also thinks Rashford should have been awarded a penalty when he appeared to be brought down by Demichelis in the box.
“You know that [it is a penalty], you have seen it so you can judge it,” he said. “I have seen it from the bench and I think it was a penalty. We need video referees I think.”
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