MANCHESTER United manager Louis van Gaal believes his Manchester United side were worth their narrow victory at Aston Villa on Friday.
United made it two wins from their opening two Premier League games as Adnan Januzaj capped his first start since February with the gameâ€™s only goal at Villa Park.
It means United have surpassed their points total from their opening five games of last season in just two games this season, a point which Van Gaal says indicates United are showing signs of improvement.
â€œWe played better than last week and it was an away match so Iâ€™m very a happy,â€ he told Sky Sports.
â€œWe kept the ball well in the first 20 minutes and scored a wonderful goal. (Juan) Mata played a fantastic pass and Adnan produced a fantastic goal.
â€œAfter that I think we were nervous because we lost the ball easily. But, in the second half, once the substitutes came on, we played very controlled and could have scored more than the one goal.â€
Van Gaal highlighted Unitedâ€™s weathering a second-half Villa fightback as the turning point in the game as substitutes Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ander Herrera bolstered the visitorsâ€™ midfield when under pressure.
â€œI made substitutions to retain the ball and to profit from the will of Aston Villa, who were high up the pitch and there was a lot of space behind,â€ the Dutchman added.
â€œMemphis (Depay) could have scored easily, for example. But we had a lot of possibilities to score more than once and thatâ€™s a pity.
â€œAfter the subs we played more controlled and, of course, Villa brought (Rudy) Gestede on and then the long balls followed but (Chris) Smalling won every ball.â€
United have claimed six points from their opening two games, yet have mustered just three shots on target.
But Van Gaal is unconcerned about Unitedâ€™s lack of prowess in front of goal, highlighting Unitedâ€™s defensive solidity as a positive from their victories against Villa and Tottenham.
â€œWe only gave one chance away this evening and that was very good,â€ Van Gaal said.
“The few shots on target does not bother me because you have to score one more than your opponent and thatâ€™s the result.
â€œWe donâ€™t give many chances away and every game we have had more chances than the opponent.
â€œItâ€™s difficult to win away games in England and we did it. Last year we drew here, so Iâ€™m very happy. The result gives our squad confidence and I changed my line-up and it didnâ€™t matter.â€ – Sky Sports