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Van Gaal pleased with rivals' slip-ups

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was delighted to move within touching distance of the Premier League's top four after "fantastic" results for his team.

United triumphed 1-0 over Watford courtesy of a brilliant Juan Mata free-kick, but Liverpool's 3-0 thrashing of Manchester City, coupled with losses for Tottenham and Arsenal, means Van Gaal's men are outside the top four on goal difference only.

Fourth-placed City have a game in hand following the postponement of their Premier League fixture against Newcastle United courtesy of the League Cup final, but Van Gaal was delighted to close the gap nonetheless.

"It's fantastic," Van Gaal said.

"That's the strength of the Premier League. It's also nice as we lost at Sunderland and there was a lot of criticism at that time but the difference between teams is not that big.

"Everybody can lose to everybody."

Van Gaal said he was just pleased to get the result against a physical side, but was disappointed with some of the chances United conceded, particularly in the first half.

"I have to say, we gave the chances away," the Dutchman said.

"It was not that they were creating them. They were pressing us and we gave too many balls away.

"In the second half we did it, but Timothy [Fosu-Mensah] with his speed restored a lot of our errors."

Van Gaal will now look to keep the pressure on the top four when his side travel to West Brom on Sunday.