Louis van Gaal claims that victory at Southampton is a ‘statement’ that Manchester United will compete for a title they cannot be expected to win.
It’s sheer brilliance from the Dutchman, who has simultaneously raised hopes but dampened expectations.
United’s 3-2 win over the Saints courtesy of goals from Anthony Martial (2) and Juan Mata takes them within two points of Manchester City.
“It’s a fantastic result away at Southampton and I think we have made a statement that we shall compete for the title,” said Van Gaal.
“What I am saying all the time is that we have to improve. We have to improve our team and when we improve our team, last season we were fourth so maybe we can be third now.
“But last year we were close enough to be the champions. I have said that we were very close last year. When you remember the match against Chelsea away, it was very close but we did not score at the time.
When pushed about competing for the title, Van Gaal said: “Of course we shall always strive for it. We did that also last year. You cannot expect a title from a team in transition, but when we are close we shall grab it!”