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Richard Jolly profile picture Posted by Richard Jolly
Jun 15, 2014

Moyes hails Van Gaal's tactical nous

ESPN FC's panel of soccer experts break down the most exciting and surprising match thus far of the 2014 World Cup.

David Moyes has hailed Louis van Gaal, his successor as Manchester United manager, for his tactical masterclass in the Netherlands' 5-1 win over Spain.

- Marcotti: Van Gaal makes Del Bosque suffer
- Honigstein: Robben earns stunning redemption
Spain media reaction: 'A punch to the face'
- Born: The youngsters Van Gaal trusted
The Toe Poke: RvP's superhuman header

Van Gaal will leave his job with the Oranje to take over at Old Trafford when he returns from Brazil. In Salvador on Friday, he orchestrated the heaviest defeat ever suffered by a World Cup-holding team.

Moyes, sacked by United in April, said he admired the 62-year-old's gameplan and praised United striker Robin van Persie, who scored the first and fourth goals. The forward has said the first, a spectacular diving header, is the best goal he has ever scored.

Writing in the Sunday Times, Moyes said: "Louis van Gaal, the Holland coach, planned it perfectly. Holland's setup meant they were able to fill the pitch where Spain wanted to play.

"This was a big step for Holland. Tactically, Van Gaal excelled. Three or four young players did well. Daley Blind, as the left wing-back, played especially well. His cross for Van Persie's first goal was excellent.

"Robin's headed finish was fantastic. He sensed the right thing to do in the situation -- like a lot of people, I assumed he was going to chest the ball down -- and to generate the power to beat [Iker] Casillas from there with his head was very good."

Moyes again insisted that, despite reports to the contrary, he had got on well with Van Persie during his ill-fated spell as United boss.

He added: "Working with Robin last season showed me his qualities. He's very strong in possession of the ball, and has great movement to receive it. Technically, he's brilliant: two good feet, tremendous at finishing.

"Our only problem with him was injures but, contrary to what many think, I had a very good working relationship with him.

"We just couldn't get him on the pitch enough. When we did, there was nothing wrong with his form -- 18 goals in 28 games."

However, Rio Ferdinand has said Van Persie became a "sideshow" at Manchester United under Moyes and believes he did not feel loved last season.

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