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Rash and grab

By Graham Luney

Published 21/03/2016

Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United have a great chance of securing Champions League football after coming through a "test of survival" at rivals Manchester City.

Thursday's Europa League exit to Liverpool means only a top-four finish will do if United are to return to European football's top table. Marcus Rashford's first-half strike at the Etihad Stadium saw Van Gaal's side win 1-0, making his manager believe a top-four finish is within their grasp.

"I have said in advance that we must win this game and we have done it, so I am very happy because otherwise the gap was too big if they won," Van Gaal said.

"It would have been very difficult to close the gap with eight matches to go.

"Now it is in our own hands, I think. We have to win our games, we have more home matches than away matches. We don't lose so much at Old Trafford so we have a big chance."

City boss Manuel Pellegrini, who walked out of his TV interview, said: "I don't think that I lose any control.

"If you see the attitude of the team today, it reflects that we are involved in what we want to do.

"Of course it is not the best way to finish the season and maybe one thing is linked with the other one, but I repeat I am happy with the attitude."

Belfast Telegraph

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