Man United boss explains controversial decision to sub on Young as striker

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has explained his controversial decision to take out Marcus Rashford at half-time for Ashley Young, who continued to play up front, Goal reports.

With the game at 0-0, Red Devils fans were shocked after the half-time break, with Young, naturally a midfielder, coming on for wonderkid striker Rashford as the players walked onto the pitch.

And the clash ended in a 3-0 defeat to Man United, denting their hopes of finishing in the top four and qualifying for next season’s Champions League campaign.

After the loss, Van Gaal came out to explain his strange decision to bring a winger to play as the lone centre forward, even when a natural striker in Anthony Martial was still on the pitch.

“I want more running in behind. I think we have chances to do that because they are like us an attacking side with full-backs coming up,” he told reporters.

“You need runners to the death, Ashley Young has done that very well in the second team. Anthony Martial is more a player who wants the ball in to his feet, so when I want runs in behind it’s better to give that to a player who is willing to do that.”

United will now shift their focus to the FA Cup, in which they face West Ham United in a replay after the first leg ended in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.