Manchester United see off Derby in FA Cup to ease pressure on Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal is able to breathe a little easier after Manchester United made light work of a potentially tricky FA Cup assignment against Derby, winning 3-1 at the iPro Stadium.
The United boss arrived in the east midlands under heavy pressure and intense scrutiny after months of indifferent results, uninspiring performances and reports - denied by the Dutchman - that he offered to quit after last weekend's home defeat by Southampton.
His captain Wayne Rooney quickly settled the nerves with a superb opening goal after 16 minutes but George Thorne's equaliser before half-time might have had Van Gaal worrying again as Derby threatened to add their name to the list of lower league teams, which include MK Dons, Cambridge, Middlesbrough and Sheffield United, to cause United problems in the cups under his tenure.
However, well-worked goals from Daley Blind and Juan Mata in the second half saw United progress in a much more comfortable manner than was perhaps anticipated before kick-off.