Van Gaal praises Manchester United for showing spirit in ‘nasty week’

Louis van Gaal was full of praise for his Manchester United players in the wake of their 1-1 FA Cup draw with West Ham United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The Red Devils fought back to force a quarter-final replay after Dimitri Payet had put the Hammers ahead with a stunning free-kick on 68 minutes.

Anthony Martial equalised from close range in the 83rd minute to ensure United were not dumped from the competition and the fightback drew a spritely response from Van Gaal.

“For the first 15 minutes I think West Ham were the better team and they created a few chances, but after that we came back into the match,” he said.

“We have created chances and in the second half we were the better team. They scored out of a free-kick. We were behind.

“We have played against West Brom and lost, and Liverpool and lost this week, and when you come back from that I think it is amazing, and fantastic spirit in the team, in spite of a very nasty week. I am very proud of my players.

“We are still in three competitions.”

United next meet traditional rivals Liverpool in the Europa League Round of 16 second leg at home on Thursday having lost 2-0 to the Reds last week.

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