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The Saturday View - Van Gaal on the brink again

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Van Gaal's position in question once again
Van Gaal's position in question once again

Louis van Gaal's future as Manchester United manager is firmly back on the agenda after his side's 2-1 defeat at Sunderland.

Van Gaal admitted his side's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League via a top four finish in the Premier League are all but over after this latest setback, with skipper Wayne Rooney echoing those sentiments in this BT Sport interview:

Van Gaal again refused to consider quitting as United boss after the game, but his confession that a top four finish may now be out of reach could force United officials to put the Dutchman out of his misery.

Former England manager Glenn Hoddle is among those now certain Van Gaal is certain to be sacked by United sooner rather than later:

Bookies slashed the odds on Jose Mourinho taking over as United boss immediately following the Sunderland defeat, but Ryan Giggs is likely to take over until the end of the season if Van Gaal is sacked.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, it was a good day for Irish players as Shane Long, Robbie Brady and Wes Hoolahan all got on the scoresheet.

The goals from Brady (below) and Hoolahan looked set to give the Canaries a much needed win against West Ham, but late goals from the Hammers earned the visitors a point in a 2-2 draw at Carrow Road.

Long's goal (below) was enough to hand Southampton all three points at Swansea, as his side moved into the top six of the Premier League with a valuable away win. 

Stoke won their first Premier League match since January 13 with a 3-1 victory at Bournemouth, while Troy Deeney snatched a late winner for Watford as they beat Crystal Palace 2-1.

West Brom returned to winning ways with a battling 1-0 victory at Everton, while Chelsea thumped a woeful Newcastle side 5-1 in the late game at Stamford Bridge, with Pedro (below) scoring twice.

Get all the best reports and reaction to this weekend's Premier League games in your Sunday World newspaper.