The Saturday View - Van Gaal salutes his wonderkid
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal hailed youngster Jesse Lingard as his first Premier League set up a valuable 2-0 win against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford.
Van Gaal predicted in his programme notes that Lindgard would soon score his first top flight goal and it duly arrived with a brilliant 52nd minute finish that halted United's Premier League goal drought.
Louis van Gaal's men had failed to find the net in their previous three domestic fixtures, but Lingard's placed finish seven minutes after half-time ended that woeful run.
Baggies defender Gareth McAuley was dismissed for hauling down Anthony Martial in the area in stoppage time at the end of the game and Mata placed the penalty straight down the middle.
"There were clubs wanting to take him on loan last summer," stated Van Gaal, who hinted that Steve McClaren's Newcastle were among those trying to sign Lingard.
"I said to him: "I want to keep you". I give him a chance. Now that he is playing, he is doing well.
"How Jesse finished for his goal was remarkable. In a training session this week he had two chances like this and he shoots at once and I told him he needs to take a touch before the shot, which he did today.”
There were some fresh grumblings about the style of play promoted by Van Gaal against West Brom, but he offered up this stout defence after the game.
"Everybody knows who has played football that the most difficult way to score is against a very defensive team," he added. "The space is only on the wings and we have tried to do that.
"The only way you can play against such a defensive, organised team is the way we do it, you need patience.
"In the second half West Brom are more tired and the chances come. The goal changed the game, we had more space. Then you can see the qualities of Anthony Martial, and we score the second goal out of his actions.
"We have to score goals, that is something my mother knows and my grandmother. We are working on it."
In a side show to the action at Old Trafford, Republic of Ireland winger James McClean was jeered by Man Utd fans as he became the only player in the Premier League to refuse to wear a poppy on his shirt.
McClean had stated he would not sport the tribute to Britain's war dead and he followed through on that promise.
Meanwhile, the remarkable story for Jamie Vardy and Leicester continued as the Foxes moved level with Manchester City and Arsenal at the top of the Premier League following a 2-1 win against Watford.
Vardy (below) has now scored in nine successive Premier League matches, which leaves him needed to score in his next game against Newcastle to match the top flight record of Ruud van Nistelrooy and John Aldridge, who both scored in 10 successive top flight games.
Romelu Lukaku kept his and Everton's remarkable records against West Ham intact in a 1-1 draw at Upton Park.
The Toffees arrived in the capital boasting a 14-game unbeaten streak in the league against the Hammers, yet they fell behind in the first half when Manuel Lanzini found the top corner on the half-hour mark and needed a leveller from Lukaku to collect a point.
In the lunchtime kick-off Newcastle secured their first away victory in 10 months by defeating Bournemouth 1-0 thanks to Ayoze Perez's first-half effort.
Southampton made it eight games unbeaten in all competitions and maintained their unbeaten record on the road in the league this season with a 1-0 victory over struggling Sunderland.
Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce: "We’re relegation favourites, with fewer points than games. It’s a mammoth task" pic.twitter.com/gaQHfhlV9O— Premier League (@premierleague) November 7, 2015
Finally, Norwich ended a four game losing run with a 1-0 win against Swansea.
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