herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

lvg: City in our sights

United within two points of second in title 'rat race' as Van Gaal looks for rare Anfield win

LOUIS van Gaal says that his rejuvenated Old Trafford side now have Manchester City in their sights in the "rat race" for a Champions League slot.

United captain Wayne Rooney shrugged off the distraction of being front-page news with his boxing bout with Stoke's Phil Bardsley making headlines, Rooney scoring the third in a 3-0 rout of Tottenham at Old Trafford.

With Liverpool only in action tonight, away to Swansea, and rivals Chelsea and Manchester City dropping points, it was a good weekend for United in their battle to secure a Champions League spot.

Liverpool and United face off at Anfield next Sunday but by then, Manuel Pellegrini's City are likely to be out of the Champions League - they face Barcelona on Wednesday - and Van Gaal has put more pressure on City by saying his side can bridge that two-point gap.

"We have to take it step by step, it is a rat race," van Gaal said.

"We are within two points of second position, but first position in my opinion is too far away. Of course they (City) have been dragged in.

"Arsenal are only one point behind them and we are only two points behind. It is good for us, the fans and for the media because you can write a lot of things about it now," added Van Gaal, in buoyant mood ahead of the much-anticipated visit to Anfield.

"Maybe it is the game that gives us a fantastic boost. We are looking step by step and our next game is at Liverpool. I believe it is not so often that United have won at Anfield recently."

3SEE INSIDE P58-59

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