Prior to the game, van Gaal indicated he might move Rooney back up front but has now stated the 29-year-old will stay in midfield as it helps the balance of the team.
Speaking about the England captain’s role, van Gaal said: ”Rooney was one of the players who showed the best composure today.
“You can put every week these questions but I have to decide. You can ask me every week and I have to compare with [Radamel] Falcao and [Robin] van Persie, [James] Wilson and Rooney because these were the strikers for me.
“I have to look for the better balance and I think until now because of Rooney we have a better balance in midfield and I was very pleased how he replaced Blind in the No.6 position [defensive midfield].
“He showed composure and of course he was also today the Rooney that I want to see, but he has showed that he can play in every position. But maybe he can better play in a striker’s position, but then I have a problem in midfield and then you are asking another question.”
Rooney is the third highest goal-scorer in United’s history but has not started as a striker for two months and is yet to record a shot on target in the league in 2015.
United have only lost once in 18 games however so fans cannot say van Gaal’s methods aren’t getting results.