United failed to secure yet another win in the Premier League when they faced Sunderland yesterday. A 2-1 defeat at the Stadium of Lights has left Manchester United six points adrift fourth place Manchester City, who have yet to play a game.
If Manchester City wins, Van Gaal’s side will be nine points behind fourth place, a chase that would be too difficult in what games remain in the current Premier League season.
Van Gaal has admitted that there is little hope for United to qualify for next season’s Champions League, unless they win the Europa League. He has admitted that a top four place is near impossible, and being Europa champions is their only chance.
Speaking to BT Sport, Van Gaal said, ‘I think after this match that is the best route (into the Champions League and that is not so easy because there are a lot of very good teams participating in this event (the Europa League).
‘It will be very difficult now. We give five points away, Chelsea and now this game so it is too much at this time.’
United is currently fifth with the two next fixtures being away games at Newcastle United and Liverpool.