The Dutchman’s side, reduced to ten men during extra-time, came back from a goal down to claim a historic 2-1 victory.
Juan Mata levelled for Man United in the 81st minute, and Lingard’s well hit volley sent fans into raptures. Van Gaal, normally a reserved figure on the touchline, didn’t hold back in his celebrations:
— Tahira Mirza (@tahiramirza1) May 21, 2016
— Manchester United (@ManUtds_News) May 21, 2016
A much maligned figure, with many adamant that his position as manager is untenable following failure to ensure Champions League football next season, van Gaal simply had to win today; his reaction was indicative of a man who may have just saved his job.
But whether he stays on still remains to be seen. It seems that the Dutchman departing this summer makes a great deal of sense for both parties: supporters can look forward to a manager who employs a more progressive, dynamic approach, and van Gaal can end an illustrious career (he now has 16 major honours to his name) on a high.