Van Gaal reveals tactical reason why Marouane Fellaini started against Cambridge

Louis van Gaal

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal says he needed Marouane Fellaini against Cambridge because of his height.

Manchester United booked their place in round five of the FA Cup with a 3-0 win over Cambridge United on Tuesday night.

The Red Devils overcame a 0-0 draw in the first game - as well as an early scare at Old Trafford as Tom Elliott hit the post in the first minute - to win convincingly.

Goals from Juan Mata, Marcos Rojo and James Wilson sent United through in comfortable fashion, setting up an intriguing fifth round clash against Preston North End.

Manager Louis van Gaal selected a strong starting XI, with David de Gea, Wayne Rooney, Angel Di Maria and Robin van Persie all starting the game.

There was also a place in the first team for midfielder Marouane Fellaini, in what many deemed to be an interesting decision from van Gaal.

After the game, the Dutchman explained why Fellaini started the game in an interview with MUTV, suggesting that the Belgian's height was necessary against League Two side Cambridge.

"With Fellaini, we have always also an attacking point through the air," van Gaal said. "Cambridge have very tall players and we could score also in the air and not only along the floor. That was our game plan and he [Fellaini] confirmed that [his aerial prowess] again."

At 6ft 4in, Fellaini is a superb aerial threat, and was often used as a target man striker during his time at Everton. With van Gaal acknowledging Fellaini's aerial ability, we could well see him used in such a way in the future.

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