Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal outlines title belief

Manchester United Louis van Gaal and Southampton Ronald Koeman

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Manchester United “made a statement” that they will compete for the Premier League title by winning 3-2 at Southampton on Sunday, according to boss Louis van Gaal.

The Old Trafford side are now just two points adrift of league leaders Manchester City, who lost at home to West Ham on Saturday, after six games.

“We have made a statement that we shall compete for the title,” Van Gaal is quoted as saying by the BBC.

“You cannot expect a title from a team in transition. But when we are close we shall grab it.”

Summer signing Anthony Martial again impressed with two goals against the Saints, having opened his United account in the win over Liverpool on his debut.

Van Gaal was quick to praise the 19-year-old former Monaco forward but warned against placing too much expectation on the Frenchman after his £36million move to Manchester.

He said: “He is doing great – three matches in a row and three goals.

“When you are 19, you cannot expect consistency. Emotionally they shall have a lot of dips so that I expect also from him but that is not a big problem for me.

“He adapts to the system of how we want to play that is also important. Not every player can but he shows he wants to do that.

“He scores goals. That is the most important thing, that as a striker he scores goals. He can improve I think but he has a high level of talent.”

United are 7.00 to win the Premier League outright and local rivals Manchester City can be backed at 1.57.

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