For eight months Van Gaal has been promising Manchester United fans everything would soon start to click into place and it finally did on Sunday as United beat Spurs 3-0.
Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney found the net in a rampant??first half display that had all the hallmarks of the Sir Alex Ferguson era at??Old Trafford.
United played with speed, width, aggression and destruction to record a win??that puts them within two points of second-placed City, who lead Arsenal by one??point.
After losing at Burnley on Saturday, City have fallen further behind Premier League leaders Chelsea and Manuel Pellegrini’s men are now in Van Gaal’s??sights.
When asked whether City had been dragged into the “rat race” – a term Van??Gaal uses to describe the fight for the top four – the United boss said: “Of??course, because Arsenal is one point behind and we are two points behind.
“It is good for us and the fans and the media because you can write a lot of??things down.
“We have to go step by step. It is a rat race and we are now two points from??the second position.”
Van Gaal thinks the title is as good as gone. “It is too far away,” he said,??mindful of the fact that United are eight points behind Chelsea having played??one more game.
But the United boss hopes the win over Spurs will inject confidence into his??team, who have put in a series of unimaginative performances this season, much??to the disappointment of their fans.
“We have waited a long time for such a victory,” said Van Gaal, who faces??Liverpool, Aston Villa, City, and Chelsea in the coming weeks.
“The performance was very good against a very good team so I am very pleased.
“We played like a team and that is nice to see after a defeat to Arsenal (on??Monday). It’s a massively important game after a defeat against a competitor so I am??very pleased with the players.
“We have to go step by step and the next game is Liverpool. Manchester??United has not won too often the games in Liverpool.”
Van Gaal thinks United are finally starting to tick after months of tinkering??with selection and tactics.
He said: “The first system was I played with three defenders, the second??system was this. I played it against Man City, Chelsea and a third one. But we??didn’t do this what we have done today.
“It is a matter of time and process. Maybe now is the game that gives us a??fantastic boost.”