Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has warned joint-leaders Arsenal and Leicester City his side remain in the Premier League title race after Wayne Rooney's only goal defeated Liverpool at Anfield. The England captain reacted first after Marouane Fellaini's headed Juan Mata's cross onto the bar to give the visitors all three points.
David de Gea denied the Reds on several occasions, saving from Adam Lallana and twice from Emre Can and was named man-of-the-match by broadcasters Sky Sports. United's winner came out of the blue as the game looked to be heading for a stalemate until Rooney popped up.
Draws for Leicester and Arsenal means United are now seven points behind the joint-leaders with 16 games still remaining. Van Gaal therefore believes his side are still in contention to win the league.
"We can do it [win the title]," Van Gaal said in a post-match press conference, according to The Mirror. "Now we have made a good start in 2016, to beat Liverpool for the second time in a row is it marvellous, it gives a big boost for the players and the fans. I hope it shall continue with winning. That is why we are here, to win our games and at end of the season to be in the first three positions of the league.
"We have survived the first-half, we didn't keep the ball to much and they pressed and pressured. But in the second-half we came into the match and kept the ball more and created chances and scored the winning goal, I'm happy, the players are happy and the fans more happy."
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp's emotions were contrasting however as defeat - in his first match against United - saw his side drop eight points off the Champions League places. The Merseyside's were again left wanting at a set-piece as Rooney hammered home from close range and Klopp has bemoaned his side's defence.
"A lot of the things we did today were really good," Klopp said, according to the Liverpool Echo. "Creating chances was good, but our finishing was not. For the goal we lost Fellaini.....bar. Then we lost Rooney...goal. Three mistakes around the goal, and that's too much obviously against a team with individual quality like Manchester United.
"We had a few good moments, we had our chances but we could have had more. De Gea had a few good saves, and we had some not so good finishing. They had one good finish, and win 1-0. In this moment it's only frustrating. But we have to carry on, and we will do."