Louis van Gaal expressed his satisfaction at Manchester United securing victory with “a very risky system” against Swansea.
United won their first game in nine after battling to a 2-1 victory over struggling Swansea on Saturday, with Wayne Rooney scoring the winner.
Anthony Martial’s second-half opener had previously been cancelled out by a Glyfi Sigurdsson header, but Rooney’s deft flick from a Martial cross sent United back up to fifth at the start of the new year.
Van Gaal started with a typical 4-2-3-1 formation at Old Trafford, but ended the game using a tactic more resembling 3-1-4-1-1 by full-time.
“I think we played a very risky system against Swansea because they had a shape with four midfielders in a diamond,” Van Gaal told BBC Sport after the game.
“We played with three defenders but we did very well and created a lot of chances. We didn’t score, though, and that’s our problem. When we scored, there was not a problem any more. We scored two beautiful goals.
“I am very happy for the players because they had to play under big pressure and now we have won. We are still near the top of the league and the gap is less. So that’s football. That’s a season. A season takes eight months or something like that and not one month.
“I hope this is a fantastic starting point for us in the New Year and we can continue against Sheffield United.”
“The goals are the most important thing,” added Van Gaal. “You have to create chances, which we have done all season, but you have to finish the chances.
“I have to say I enjoyed the first half more than the second, but we scored in the second and that’s the big difference. When you score it’s a different world.”