In Brief

Van Gaal takes a dive but Rashford restores his reputation

Manager's touchline antics earn a huge cheer from the Old Trafford faithful, but results are more important

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal, a dead man walking last week, has completed a remarkable turnaround with two crucial victories in the space of four days and even won over sceptical fans with a dramatic dive during Sunday's clash with Arsenal.

The manager threw himself to the turf as he remonstrated with fourth official Mike Dean, a moment that earned one of the biggest cheers of the day from the Old Trafford faithful.

It swiftly became an internet meme, with fans quick to make hay of the image of Van Gaal flat on his back - although some still pointed to the fact he is likely to be ousted by Jose Mourinho at the end of the season.

His histrionics sparked a rare chorus of "Louis van Gaal's red and white army" from the home supporters, who have been swift to criticise his style this season, but the Old Trafford boss revealed he had apologised for the incident.

"That was too emotional - it is not good for the referee and the linesman and the fourth official," he said. "I have had a lot of criticism because I am sitting on my bench and now I am off my bench and I have lot of criticism because I'm doing that.

"I have apologised to the referee and the linesman and I hope everything is solved. I have to control my emotions and I have said that also to my players."

More significant than his dive has been the discovery of teenage striker Marcus Rashford, who has scored four goals in two games for United, including a double in their win against Arsenal.

"Youngsters often play well in the first match," said Van Gaal. "The second is different. Marcus played well in both so he is a special talent."

Recommended

Messi vs. Ronaldo: how football’s superstars compare
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
Profile

Messi vs. Ronaldo: how football’s superstars compare

Wembley Euro final disorder ‘seals the deal’ for World Cup bid hopes
Police and England fans on Wembley Way ahead of the Euro 2020 final
In Focus

Wembley Euro final disorder ‘seals the deal’ for World Cup bid hopes

Forget titles, Newcastle’s first battle is to avoid relegation
Newcastle’s new chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan and part-owner Amanda Staveley
View from the terraces

Forget titles, Newcastle’s first battle is to avoid relegation

Newcastle’s Saudi takeover: what is ‘sportswashing’?
Newcastle play their home games at St James’ Park
In Focus

Newcastle’s Saudi takeover: what is ‘sportswashing’?

Popular articles

Insulate Britain: what do they want?
Insulate Britain protesters
Profile

Insulate Britain: what do they want?

The tally of Covid-19 vaccine deaths examined
Boy receiving Covid vaccine
Getting to grips with . . .

The tally of Covid-19 vaccine deaths examined

What is blackfishing?
Shot of Jesy Nelson with her hair in braids
In Depth

What is blackfishing?

The Week Footer Banner