Manchester manager goes giddy about match-winner
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal wanted to "kiss" Memphis Depay after he scored two goals and made another in his side's 3-1 Champions League play-off win over Club Brugge. United went behind to an eighth-minute Michael Carrick own goal in Tuesday's first leg at Old Trafford, but Depay scored two superb goals before teeing up substitute Marouane Fellaini for an injury-time header that put Van Gaal's team firmly in control of the tie.
A 2-1 win would have given the Belgian side real hope of turning the tie around in Bruges next Wednesday and after seeing Depay set Fellaini up for the crucial third goal, Van Gaal declared: "I want to kiss him tonight."
The line, however, was part of an answer in which Van Gaal explained his reluctance to single out individual players for praise and the United manager said that Depay's true value to the squad could be seen in the example he set for his younger teammates.
The goals were Depay's first since his £25 million (Dh101 million or $39.1 million) switch from PSV Eindhoven, but Van Gaal was heartened that when interviewed after the game, the 21-year-old winger had rued spurning a chance to complete his hat-trick by lifting a shot over the bar. "He's never satisfied. I like that," said Van Gaal, a Champions League winner with Ajax in 1995, who is bidding to lead United into the group phase after their first season out of the competition in 19 years.