Manchester United: FA Cup title more important for club than me - Louis van Gaal

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says winning the FA Cup is more important to the club than for him.

The Red Devils beat West Ham 2-1 on Wednesday to set up a semi-final against Everton at Wembley on 23 April.

Van Gaal, 64, is expected to leave his position at the end of the season - one year before his contract expires.

"I said I wanted a title and I am happy but it is not important for me, it is important for the club, the players and the team," said the Dutchman.

Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini scored the goals to give United a victory in the quarter-final replay at Upton Park that keeps alive their hopes of avoiding a third successive season without a trophy.

Pressure eases on Van Gaal?

Man Utd
Louis van Gaal has won trophies at every club he has managed

"Louis van Gaal's future has been a matter for debate since the first links with Jose Mourinho emerged in the days before Christmas when he was sacked by Chelsea," writes BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty.

"Several times Van Gaal has walked to the precipice as the Mourinho murmurs grew louder - then produced a moment that pulls him back and suggests he may yet have the chance to see out the final season of his contract at Manchester United.

"And so it proved again as United recovered from the heavy loss at Spurs on Sunday to reach the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley against Everton with a fine win at West Ham United.

Louis van Gaal praises performance

"Van Gaal can now offer up the possibility of the first trophy since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement as evidence he should be given the chance to continue at Old Trafford.

"There is still a top-four place and the FA Cup on United's agenda. While they remain there results like this mean Van Gaal can still talk about a future at the club. The stakes were that high."

Rashford 'should go to the Euros'

Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford has scored twice as many goals as any other Manchester United player since making his debut on 25 February

West Ham started strongly but Manchester United coped with the early pressure before taking the lead through a brilliant Rashford strike.

The 18-year-old opened up space for himself with some neat footwork before finding the top corner with a sublime finish.

Rashford has now scored six goals in 11 appearances since making his debut against FC Midtjylland on 25 February.

His performance impressed BBC Radio 5 live pundit Danny Mills, who believes he has done enough to earn a place in the England squad for Euro 2016.

"If you're in good form, why not take him as a substitute?" said Mills. "If you need to change a game, bring him off the bench.

"Andy Carroll won't be fit. I know he scored a hat-trick at the weekend against Arsenal, but he was anonymous against Manchester United and unless you give him perfect service into the box there is no real game plan. He only really plays one way."

No fairytale FA Cup finale at Upton Park

West Ham
Upton Park - also known as the Boleyn Ground - has been West Ham's home since 1904

There was added disappointment for West Ham. They were playing in their final FA Cup game at Upton Park before they move to the Olympic Stadium, and a huge crowd turned out hoping to witness a positive send off.

However, despite rallying late on after James Tomkins' goal, they failed to match Manchester United for large periods of the game.

"Man United nullified the threat for 70-80 minutes," said Match of the Day pundit and former England and Newcastle striker Alan Shearer.

"There was no energy and then they got that goal from James Tomkins and they came alive."

Slaven Bilic accepted that Manchester United were the better side.

He said: "We were really good for the first 15 minutes and the last 20 minutes but other than that their passing was much better than ours, their composure on the ball was much better than ours.

"We tried to create and we had more than enough chances to equalise but the quality of our passing was not the best."

Hammers 'can be a force next season'

Dimitri Payet
Dimitri Payet had a rare off night for West Ham against Manchester United

Despite their FA Cup exit, West Ham can still finish the campaign strongly.

They are sixth in the Premier League - just five points off the top four.

Whatever happens in the remaining six games, Hammers legend Sir Trevor Brooking expects them to be a force next season.

"If they can get three or four really good purchases, they'll be dangerous next season," he said.

"They're playing a brand of football, with a new stadium, where players will want to come."

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