Marouane Fellaini headed the hosts ahead midway through the first half and then Juan Mata and Marcos Rojo both claimed United’s winner, after??Steven Nzonzi equalised before the break with a superb strike.
And although Van Gaal was happy with the result – and a fourth-successive win for his side, which closes the gap on third-placed Southampton – he still feels there is plenty of work to do if the Old Trafford club are to secure a top-four finish.
“In the first half we were not aggressive enough and also we didn’t keep out positions on the pitch so I wasn’t pleased at half-time,” he told Sky Sports.
“I think the second half was much better. We created more chances – we scored, but we need to score more goals.
“You know that (Peter) Crouch is coming on and the long balls are coming, but I’m very happy that we held this result until the end.
“The last few minutes were not necessary. We have struggled till the end and in the Premier League it is common but I’m happy with the result. It’s our fourth victory in a row which is also important.
“I had to select a new line-up, but I don’t want to talk about the injuries. I want to talk about the players who gave us this result. They fought until the end.
“I’m always impressed by our performance than by the result – I’m a very crazy coach. I want a better performance.
“Against Hull City I liked our performance, but today it could have been better.”
The Dutchman confirmed that striker Wayne Rooney will have a scan on his injury picked up against Hull at the weekend on Wednesday. He also expects Angel di Maria to return to action against Southampton for Monday night’s crunch clash at St Mary’s.