Manchester United to win the Premier League? Michael Carrick believes United will be in the running for the title

United have won six matches in a row

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The Independent Online

Manchester United have set their sights on the top in the Barclays Premier League following their victory over arch-rivals Liverpool.

Man Utd 3 Liverpool 0 - as it happened

United endured a difficult start under Louis van Gaal, but they are now within eight points of league leaders Chelsea following six successive wins.

Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie were all on target in the 3-0 victory over Brendan Rodgers' beleaguered side on Sunday.

And midfielder Michael Carrick believes United will be primed for an assault on top position if they maintain their excellent form over the rest of the festive period.

"We are always looking at how we can get to the top," Carrick told MUTV.

"All in all we are in a pretty decent position at the moment. We need to stay up there, we need to stay in touch, then come Christmas and come January, as we've said for many years now, if we are up there challenging then we will give ourselves a great chance."

Van Gaal is refusing to get carried away with United's form, however.

"We have won six matches in a row, and that is fantastic but we have to improve our playing style still," the Dutchman said.

 

"We could have dominated the game for 90 minutes today but we didn't do that.

"We gave unnecessary balls away in the second half. We have to improve but we are very pleased because we know what it is to win against Liverpool."

United's victory was down to a combination of shoddy defending from Liverpool and another top-class performance by David de Gea, who saved three times from Raheem Sterling and also tipped Mario Balotelli's second-half effort on to the bar.

Van Gaal stuck to his position of not singling players out for praise after the match, and would not reveal how negotiations are progressing on extending De Gea's contract, which expires in 18 months' time.

"That is between the club and the player and it is not open for discussion for the media," Van Gaal said.

Van Gaal had to make a last-minute change to his team on Sunday after centre-back Marcos Rojo injured his thigh in training.

Van Gaal is unsure how long the Argentinian, who has just returned from a shoulder injury, will be out for.

"I am not a doctor," the United manager said. "We will have to wait and see."

PA

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