Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is “very happy” with his side’s FA Cup quarter-final draw against Arsenal because it is the first time they have secured a home game in this season’s competition.
The Dutch tactician watched as his side battled back from going behind to a Scott Laird goal in Monday night’s fifth-round tie against League One side Preston at Deepdale to set up the date against the Gunners.
Goals from Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and a late Wayne Rooney penalty sealed the win and, after travelling to face three lower league teams in the shape of Yeovil, Cambridge United and North End respectively, the Red Devils can finally look forward to a home tie against Arsene Wenger’s holders at Old Trafford on the weekend of March 7/8.
“We have a draw at home, which is important in FA Cup matches
,” Van Gaal, who praised his side’s ‘unbelievable spirit’ in Monday’s comeback win, said. “I am pleased we can play against Arsenal and at home.
“Every game in the FA Cup is difficult to win because every team is giving everything.
“You have seen it also in this round, how many better situated teams have lost so I don’t think that of course when you play against a lower team then the chance to win is always bigger.
“I am very happy we can play now against Arsenal and for the first time we play at home.”
United have not won the FA Cup since defeating Millwall in the 2004 final, while Arsenal saw off Hull City at Wembley last May to end their nine-year trophy drought.