Manchester United: Louis van Gaal says club can challenge for title

Anthony Martial is special - Van Gaal

Manchester United's victory at Southampton proves they can challenge for the Premier League title, says manager Louis van Gaal.

The Dutchman's side won 3-2 at St Mary's on Sunday, with 19-year-old striker Anthony Martial scoring twice.

The victory moves United up to second in the table, two points behind rivals Manchester City, who lost 2-1 at home to West Ham on Saturday.

"We have made a statement that we shall compete for the title," Van Gaal said.

"You cannot expect a title from a team in transition. But when we are close we shall grab it."

Van Gaal also praised Martial's impact, who scored three goals with his first three shots on target since arriving at the club in a £36m transfer from Monaco.

Anthony Martial
Martial equalised with United's first shot on target and then took advantage of a terrible Maya Yoshida backpass to slot in a second

"He is doing great - three matches in a row and three goals," Van Gaal said.

"When you are 19, you cannot expect consistency. Emotionally they shall have a lot of dips so that I expect also from him but that is not a big problem for me.

"He adapts to the system of how we want to play, that is also important. Not every player can but he shows he wants to do that.

"He scores goals. That is the most important thing, that as a striker he scores goals. He can improve I think but he has a high level of talent."