Manchester United vs Arsenal: Louis van Gaal says FA Cup defeat for either team will be a 'big blow' and impact on top four battle

The sides meet at Old Trafford on Monday night

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal believes the outcome of the FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal will not just affect the destiny of the venerable old trophy but also the contest for Champions League positions.

The Gunners travel to Old Trafford on Monday to defend the trophy they won against Hull last season with the two sides neck and neck in the league - Arsene Wenger's side are one point ahead in third spot.

Van Gaal said: "Arsenal and United are now in third and fourth place, so it is a big event with two good teams. I hope we can give a fantastic match for the fans.

"I think if we beat them it is a big blow for them, but if they beat us it is a big blow for us. It is very important game, not only for the FA Cup but also for the [Premier League] rat race."

Van Gaal also paid tribute to the longevity of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, who has been in charge of Arsenal since 1996.

He added: "In my opinion what he has done is amazing. It can only be in England, I believe, where managers are so long committed with one club.

"It shows how much he can mean for a club as a manager. I like that - like Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger - I think it's fantastic that you can do that."

Meanwhile, Marouane Fellaini admits United face a "massive game" against Arsenal if they are to end the season with a trophy.

 

The Belgium midfielder, who was on the losing side at a Wembley FA Cup final with Everton, insists however that Louis van Gaal's side can take confidence from their last-gap win over Newcastle in midweek.

He says United need to win at Old Trafford to avoid a tough replay at the Emirates.

Fellaini told MUTV: "It will be a challenge. Monday is a massive game. We have to win it in one game because playing at Arsenal would be difficult. The FA Cup is a special competition, a big trophy in England. I lost a final. I played in a semi-final. This season, I can win it.

"We have showed it spirit already a lot of times now and we have to continue like that. We have a big game on Monday, so it is good for the confidence.

"We always keep going and scored in the last minute [ against Newcastle]. The spirit was good, we kept going and that is important."

Striker Robin van Persie will miss the clash against his old club due to an ankle injury, and defender Jonny Evans will sit out after he was banned by the FA for six matches for spitting at Newcastle's Papiss Cisse.

PA

Comments