Van Gaal and Rooney admit top four is unlikely

Date published: Sunday 1st May 2016 5:16

Louis van Gaal and Wayne Rooney were both in agreement that Champions League qualification is now unlikely for Manchester United this season.

United were held to a 1-1 draw by Premier League leaders Leicester on Sunday, with Van Gaal providing the perfect villain for the Foxes’ ‘fairytale’.

Van Gaal, who also pulled a reporter’s hair after the game because he is excellent, felt United put in a good performance against Leicester, but lacked a finishing touch.

United rise to fifth with the draw, above West Ham, but are now four points behind Manchester City, albeit with a game in hand.

“I think it’s one of our best performances this season, but we didn’t score the winning goal and we were so close, so it’s a big pity,” Van Gaal said. “I think we played one of our best matches of the season, but it was not enough. They are very strong with set plays and we have to organise better.

“It is tougher when you don’t win, of course it is tougher [to finish in the top four]. But Manchester City have to play Southampton away, so we are still in the race.”

Captain Wayne Rooney agreed that Champions League qualification could be beyond his side this season.

“We were the better team and deserved to win in my opinion,” Rooney added. “It is going to be difficult now. We’re relying on other teams and we’re going to have to take maximum points from our remaining games.

“Leicester have made it tough for teams all season but I felt we had the better chances. We’re disappointed we didn’t win the game, it’s a blow, but we have to keep going.”

On the title race, Van Gaal added: “For me Tottenham can also win – the best has to win. Tottenham has more points against us, but I think Leicester City deserves to win this championship. They have very good organisation, but we have a lot of chances.”

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