UEFA Champions League playoffs leg 1: Manchester United 3-1 Club Brugge

van Gaal comments after the game:

Will Fellaini’s goal make a difference? “Yes it makes a difference because 2-1 is a very difficult result. We deserved much more because we created a lot of chances. There was a lot of criticism [beforehand] that we never shoot on goal and we do not create chances. Now, you can see we created a lot of chances. As I always say, you have to be effective and sometimes with three chances you have two goals. Now we have a lot of chances and three goals. I am happy because of the last goal. We practiced that [move] before and when we need him [Fellaini] we put him in the 16-metre area because he has that quality and he has done that a lot of times with me, so I am very happy with him.”

Is this the start of something special for Memphis? “Yes I am very happy for him because a player needs that. I had said it is a matter of time and it was a matter of time. Hopefully he shall continue, but it is also difficult for him. He is 21 and has only played two seasons for PSV. But I have confidence in him and tonight he scored two goals and the assist for the third goal was a fantastic cross from him, so I am very happy.”

Despite the win, will the second leg in Belgium be a difficult game? “Yes it is a difficult ground, and it is not a simple opponent. I have read in the papers in England that it is simple and it is a walkover, but it isn’t like that. Every team that comes, such as Brugge against Panathinaikos, they won 3-0 [in the previous round]. It is still a game, but because of the last goal we now have more confidence.”

Was Michael Carrick substituted at half-time through injury, or was it tactical? “No it was a tactic switch. I have to also build up Schweinsteiger and that is why I changed Michael for Schweinsteiger. I had the two changes in mind, with Chicharito and Fellaini.”

Van Gaal was also typically quotable in his post-match press conference and paid an unusual compliment to Memphis, stating that he wanted “to kiss” his summer signing…

“When you score a goal then you are the hero,” the manager said. “I think we are on the pitch to make goals as a team. I said something about unnecessary losses [after the Aston Villa game] of Adnan but not only Adnan, also Rooney and Memphis – there are more players who lost the ball. These aspects are also important but I want to kiss him tonight, because when you score two goals and give an assist also, then normally in the world you are the hero. But for a trainer-coach, it is different.”