Louis van Gaal: Manchester United 'fighting spirit' pleases manager

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Premier League: Manchester United 0-1 Chelsea

Manager Louis van Gaal praised Manchester United's "fighting spirit" after Robin Van Persie's injury-time goal earned a 1-1 Premier League draw against Chelsea.

Van Persie's equaliser came after Daley Blind scored in the 87th minute to salvage a point at West Brom on Monday.

"The most pleasing thing is we are believing in making a goal even when the scoreline is bad," Van Gaal said.

"The players are running until the 90th minute to equalise or win."

The Dutchman added: "Chelsea tried to kill the game but my boys ran and fought until the end and at the end we scored and deserved it."

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Peter Schmeichel: "Manchester United and Chelsea have excellent young goalkeepers in David de Gea and Thibaut Courtois but, in front of them, things are very different. Courtois plays behind an incredibly well-organised defence. In contrast, United's back four is full of uncertainty and insecurity, something that was particularly evident at set-pieces at Old Trafford."
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Van Persie was booked by referee Phil Dowd for removing his shirt when celebrating the equaliser at Old Trafford on Sunday.

"He did a stupid reaction after the goal," said Van Gaal. "You can be excited but you don't have to pull your shirt off because then you have a yellow card. It is not so smart."

Van Persie's goal was the first time United had scored in injury time in the Premier League to turn a defeat into a draw, or a draw into a win, since 9 December 2012 - when Sir Alex Ferguson was still in charge - as Van Persie snatched a 3-2 win at Manchester City.

Didier Drogba gave Chelsea the lead in the 53rd minute, before Blues defender Branislav Ivanovic was sent off for a second bookable offence in stoppage time.

Nevertheless, Van Gaal was frustrated by United's failure to win after creating 19 opportunities to Chelsea's nine.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich, 90+3 mins, 26 May 1999
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Ryan Giggs: Manchester United 1-1 Juventus, 90+1 min, 7 April 1999
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool, 90+1 min, 24 January 1999

The result left them 10 points adrift of league leaders Chelsea in eighth position, although they are three points adrift of fourth, currently occupied by West Ham.

Van Gaal added: "I've said to the players we could have won but we didn't and that's our fault.

"When you can do that against the best team in this league at this moment it is a good sign.

"But I'm not pleased as I still have the feeling we could have won and that we don't take our opportunities at the moment.

"I have seen that we could have beaten Chelsea. I'm saying that nearly every game but this is against Chelsea, who are a top team and we were at least equal."

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