Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was delighted after the Red Devils' last gasp 2-1 win over Watford on Saturday (21 November) and reserved praise for man of the match Memphis Depay and young forward Jesse Lingard. The Dutch forward made his first league start since their loss against Arsenal on 4 October and was played as a central striker due to the absence of Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial due to illness and injury respectively.
Depay opened the scoring in the 11th minute when he guided Ander Herrera's cross to the roof of the net with a superb volley, but Watford were not willing to give up and equalised in the 87th minute through a Troy Deeney penalty after Marcos Rojo brought down Odion Ighalo, but the penalty scorer gave United the win when he bundled in Bastian Schweinsteiger's cutback in the final minute of normal time giving the 20-time English champions the three points.
The Dutch manager was delighted with his forward players and praised the duo for being regularly involved in creating scoring chances for the team. The former Netherlands national team manager also believes that the central striker's role is Depay's best position and with Martial injured and Rooney still a doubt for Wednesday's Champions League clash against PSV Eindhoven, the Dutch winger could be given a chance to lead the line against his former team.
Van Gaal, however, was still not fully impressed by his team's offensive play and believes they should be more clinical when they are in possession of the ball. Defensively, he was full of praise for his team, who conceded in the Premier League for the first time in 641 minutes of football.
"In the first half, Memphis was superb, like Jesse Lingard. I think also this role for Memphis is the best one for him. He played it also in the World Cup for me when [Robin] van Persie and [Arjen] Robben were injured so I knew he could do it. Jesse also was fantastic and we have created a lot of chances thanks to those two," Van Gaal told United's official site.
"I think we didn't play so good offensively. We created a lot of chances and we could have finished the game much earlier when you saw the chances that Jesse Lingard had. We didn't play so well in ball possession, but we did play very well when the opposition had the ball. We didn't give away many chances and also the penalty, but I expect better than today of our positional game," the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona manager added.