Monday 16 March 2015 12:42, UK
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville thinks Louis van Gaal has finally found the right system to take Manchester United forward after the 3-0 victory over Tottenham.
First-half goals from Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney blew away ragged Spurs at Old Trafford on Super Sunday as the visitors failed to cope with Van Gaal's decision to play a fluid 4-3-3 formation.
Neville awarded the Man of the Match to Fellaini, who was a key component in the system that saw him play in midfield but support the lone striker Rooney at every opportunity.
The legendary United full-back thinks Van Gaal should keep the 4-3-3 system for the foreseeable future.
"When he was appointed, this is the system everyone thought he would play, but in pre-season he came out of the World Cup playing three at the back with Holland and took that into United," Neville said.
"He played it in every single pre-season game, but then ditched it after a couple of games. Then they played a diamond and today it was 4-3-3. That's probably what everyone expected.
"I don't think he'll be changing that too quickly because that was head and shoulders Manchester United's best performance of the season. The tempo in the play today was far better than it has been at any point.
That was head and shoulders Manchester United’s best performance of the season.
"Everyone was positive and they were looking further forward quicker. It wasn't long balls, it was good passes forward. Even the centre-backs were stepping out at times and playing good passes.
"They have been slow at times playing out from the back and we didn't see a lot of that today at all. It was good."
Van Gaal spoke in his pre-match press conference about how United can still climb above rivals Manchester City and finish second in the Premier League.
This victory narrowed the gap on their rivals to just two points but with tough fixtures coming up, including a trip to Anfield to play fifth-placed Liverpool next Sunday, Neville thinks they should be aiming for fourth, not second place.
"Consolidating fourth place should be the target," he said.
"Today was a must-win. Lose today and you are looking at the forthcoming fixtures in a daunting way. Looking at the fixtures now, they can be confident when they go to Anfield next week. They've got big games coming up with Chelsea, City and even Everton away.
"They've got the right start. If they'd lost today or dropped points in a poor performance, it would have been difficult.
"I think they can be a lot more optimistic."
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