Van Gaal warns Man City: Man Utd made title statement

The Old Trafford boss has his sights sent on the Red Devils’ local rivals at the top of the Premier League following victory at Southampton

Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United’s win at Southampton has sent a statement of title intent to table toppers and local rivals Manchester City.

Anthony Martial scored a double on his first Premier League start and Juan Mata scored what proved to be the winner in the 3-2 triumph, with Graziano Pelle’s brace failing to dent the visitors.

Van Gaal’s team rose to second in the table with the win – just two points behind leaders Man City – and the Dutch coach is confident that his players have the potential to finish as champions in 2015-16.

“It’s a fantastic result away at Southampton and I think we have made a statement that we shall compete for the title,” he told Sky Sports News.

“What I am saying all the time is that we have to improve. We have to improve our team and when we improve our team…last season we were fourth so maybe we can be third now.

“But last year we were close enough to be the champions. I have said that we were very close last year. When you remember the match against Chelsea away, it was very close but we did not score at the time.

“Scoring is the most important thing, you have seen that today, Southampton could have scored to go 2-0 up in the first 15 minutes but they didn’t do it and then we scored. We were the better team after that.”

Next up for the Red Devils is a third round League Cup home tie against Ipswich Town on Wednesday before another Old Trafford tie in the Premier League against rock-bottom Sunderland.

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