Monday 6 October 2014 13:16, UK
Louis van Gaal hailed Manchester United trio David de Gea, Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao after their key roles in the 2-1 win over Everton at Old Trafford.
Di Maria opened the scoring on 27 minutes with a calm finish into the bottom corner before De Gea was called upon on the stroke of half-time to keep out a Leighton Baines penalty.
Steven Naismith grabbed an equaliser for the visitors 10 minutes after the break, but Falcao soon steered in his first goal for the club to put United back into a slender lead.
The hosts had to withstand waves of late pressure to secure the three points and De Gea denied Everton substitutes Leon Osman and then Bryan Oviedo with stunning one-handed saves as Van Gaal made it back-to-back wins.
"It was a very good first half, like against West Ham. We created a lot of chances but in the first half we only scored one goal from all those chances. Then we got a penalty given against us," Van Gaal told MUTV.
"Everton hadn’t created any chances until the last minute of the half, but fortunately De Gea stops the penalty.
"Then I thought the second half was easier to play against Everton because they wanted to equalise, so we had to keep the ball.
"But we couldn’t do that. I made substitutions to help our organisation but despite my changes it was not better because in the last 15 minutes they created three big chances.
"David De Gea was fantastic today. When there are a lot of players in front of you your view is not so good as a goalkeeper.
"When the shot comes in from outside the box it is always at the last moment that you see the ball, but his reflexes are very good."
Asked if Falcao’s strike will be important for his confidence, Van Gaal replied: "Yes, he needed that goal.
"I talked with him and I told him that he was forcing himself too much to score. He is a player who scores in every match, but now he has waited to score.
"Now he has, it will be better after the international break."
Di Maria now has three goals from his first five Premier League games since joining from Real Madrid this summer and he put in another impressive display, opening the scoring and assisting Falcao.
Van Gaal said: "I have said in my press conference that he is a team player, that he gives a lot of assists and he is making a lot of goals. We also need balance in our team when we don’t have the ball.
"For that, we have to find the solution. He is doing great. He wants to do his work defensively, but the balance in our team in the second half has to improve.
"When we have the ball we have to keep the ball and we didn’t do that. So that's why in the second half it was very difficult for the fans, for the players, for the substitutes, but also for the manager!"
The second half saw full-back Luke Shaw limp off to be replaced by Tyler Blackett and Van Gaal says he was refusing to take any risks on the England youngster.
"It was an impact on his knee and he has a dead knee. He could have made it worse so that is why he stepped out," he said.