Premier League

Louis van Gaal: ‘Champions League still possible for Manchester United’

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has insisted that his side will not give up on finishing in the top four despite their 3-2 loss at the hands of West Ham United this evening.

The Red Devils would have climbed above local rivals Manchester City into fourth with a victory in the final match at the Boleyn Ground, but two goals in the final 15 minutes saw the Hammers come from behind to end their 112-year stay at the stadium in winning style.

The result means that United must now beat Bournemouth at Old Trafford on the final day of the season and hope that Man City lose away to Swansea City for them to qualify for the Champions League.

“I think it is still possible but it is not in our own hands and that is the difference,” Van Gaal told BBC Sport.

“It is very disappointing because we were ahead. We gave it away because of the set plays. As a manager you are never satisfied but when you are 2-1 ahead after 70 minutes then you have to make the pitch bigger and keep the ball better.”

Kickoff was delayed by 45 minutes at Upton Park after the Man Utd coach was attacked by home fans, but Van Gaal does not believe that had an impact on the result.

“As a professional we live in this world. We know it can happen so we have to cope with that. Twenty minutes from the end we were 2-1 ahead so i don’t think that was an influence,” he added.

United could still finish as low as eighth in the table should results go against them in this final week, although they will be guaranteed Europa League football at least if they win the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace.

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