Van Gaal: United were committed to win

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal hailed his side's will to win after they saw off Shrewsbury in the FA Cup fifth round at the Greenhous Meadow on Monday.

A goal apiece from Chris Smalling and Juan Mata in the closing stages of the first half set United on their way and Jesse Lingard sealed a 3-0 victory to book a place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Van Gaal was pleased to see his team score before half-time, something they have rarely managed this season, while he praised the manner in which they controlled the game – even when Will Keane was forced off through injury on 70 minutes, leaving them down to 10 players for the remainder of the cup-tie.

"I am satisfied," the Dutchman told MUTV. "I have to say that the first 70 minutes we were controlling the game and won every second ball and played very good. We kept the ball also and scored goals – we could have scored more I think.

"After the 70 minutes, with 10 men, it was more difficult, but I have seen phases where we kept the ball very easily, so I was very pleased with the performance of the players.

"I was very happy for the players because they were so committed to win," he added.

"We had a lot of luck with the goal from Smalling, but the second was fantastic that we could score out of a free-kick – we have learned that from Midtjylland.

"We have seen that Midtjylland was taking the free-kicks this way and before the match we asked the referees in Denmark if they allowed that and they said 'yeah, we have to allow it'.

"I think it is offside, but okay, they are admitting it is not. In my opinion it is in the rules that you cannot disturb the views of the goalkeeper, but then you are having referees that are saying 'no, it is not like that'. So, we applied it and it was a goal – not bad."