Van Gaal salutes United's "best match of the season"

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Van Gaal celebrated another win with skipper Wayne Rooney
Van Gaal celebrated another win with skipper Wayne Rooney

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes his side deserved the late break that allowed them to snatch a 1-0 win at Newcastle, as he saluted his side's improved performance.

Tim Krul's last minute error gifted a chance for Ashley Young to snatch a dramatic winner, with Van Gaal pleased with his side's progress as they remained in fourth place despite continuing criticism from their critics.

"I think we have dominated for 90 minutes, maybe our best match of the season, especially in an away match we deserved the victory," said Van Gaal.

"We didn't reward ourselves in the first half. It was a narrow escape because our rivals have won also so it's a rat race.

"We have created a lot of chances and could have scored much earlier. They also made two big chances and I think David de Gea rescued us at that time.

"It was a crazy run from Wayne Rooney, a lost ball, that shows the fighting spirit in this team. We want to win. All my changes were to win, not to hold the result."

Match-winner Young (below) insisted United are perfectly happy to just ignore those outsiders who continue to criticise "the biggest club in the world".

The wing-back converted Wayne Rooney's late knockdown to snatch a 1-0 victory at Newcastle, stabilising the Red Devils in fourth place following wins elsewhere for rivals Arsenal and Liverpool.

The result also means Louis van Gaal's men have only lost two of their last 22 matches, but critics continue to pick holes in United's tactical approach and perceived underachievement.

But Young says the club are fully focused on competing for honours while ignoring the noise.

He told BT Sport: "People are always going to question the biggest club in the world but we just concentrate on ourselves and don't listen to anybody else.

"We listen to the manager and the staff and we just wanted to come here and get the three points.

"We've got a great team spirit and a great bond here and we will fight for our place.

"We knew this was going to be a tough week with the games that have been coming but we'll take every game as it comes. We'll celebrate this victory today."

The man-of-the-match award went to visiting goalkeeper David De Gea, who kept the Magpies at bay throughout and stood tall when they came knocking in the final minutes.

"He was magnificent again tonight," added Young before turning his attentions back to the game.

"I think it was a hard-fought win - we knew we had to come here and get three points and we got our just rewards.

"In the first half we created many chances but we just couldn't put them away. We always knew we were going to get another chance and in the end it fell to me.

"We've heard the results - other people winning around us - so it was very important to get a win here."