Manchester United attacker Jesse Lingard has said that the Reds win over Watford is a "statement" to other rivals in the Premier League.
United defeated the Hornets 2-1 to go second on the table, a point behind Leicester City - Van Gaal's side play next at the King Power Stadium.
“It’s massive," he told ManUtd.com. "It’s a bit of a statement to the other teams, who will look at this and see we’ve won. It puts a bit more pressure on them, but it’s a good feeling to be back up there.
"It was a great way to end the game. I thought it was a scrappy match overall, the conditions didn’t help, but we had to keep our concentration throughout and it’s great to get the win.
"There are a lot of games coming up, we’ve got a lot of injuries at the moment and have to adapt to that, I thought we did that well today. As long as we win as many games as we can over Christmas, I think we’ll be fine.”
Louis van Gaal's men led from the 11th minute till the 87th when Troy Deeney equalised, but the away side snatched the win in the 90th minute when Deeney turned in Bastian Schweinsteiger's cutback.
Asked whether he believed United would get the winner after Deeney's equaliser, he said: “Definitely. We created a lot of chances, and personally I should have scored a couple of clear-cut chances. I've obviously got to work on that but it’s great to see Basti at the back post to stick one in at the end. It’s been a long time coming for him, and he’s deserved it."