Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney and Chris Smalling react as the former leaves the pitch after the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on 28 December 2015 in ManchesterGetty

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has praised Manchester United's performance against Chelsea, a game where they pressed and attacked, something which had been amiss in their recent games under Louis van Gaal. The Dutchman has been criticised for his soporific brand of football over the past few months, which has seen them go eight games without a win, including three losses in their last four Premier League fixtures.

Van Gaal threw caution to the winds against Chelsea and urged his team to move forward at every opportunity, which saw them create a myriad of opportunities but they failed to get past Thibaut Courtois, who made a series of brilliant saves to keep the Red Devils out. Their adventurous intent made them culpable at the back, which was opened up at multiple opportunities by the Blues but the lack of a proper centre-forward and David de Gea's reflexes kept them out of the scoresheet.

Diego Costa was out with a suspension and Loic Remy was nursing a knock, which forced Guus Hiddink to use Eden Hazard through the middle. The Belgian made hard work for the likes of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones but did not have the composure to put the ball into the back of the net.

On the other hand, Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial ran havoc in the Chelsea backline, a performance which Carragher said was reminiscent of the United of old. The sudden transformation made Carragher believe that the tactics were noted down by Ryan Giggs rather than the Dutchman, who has failed to bring the best out of his players thus far.

"If I hadn't read a paper or watched television in the last 48 hours, I'd have thought it was Ryan Giggs's first game in charge. I'm not saying he was responsible for tactics but this was not a typical Louis van Gaal performance from Manchester United. This looked like the team of old with the way they attacked and pressed," Carragher said, in his column with the Daily Mail.