LOUIS VAN GAAL has described Leicester scoring sensation Jamie Vardy as a “nasty” problem for Manchester United to deal with in tomorrow’s top of the table clash tomorrow.
And he believes Claudio Ranieri’s leaders can defy all the odds by maintaining their start to the season and lift the title.
Vardy is looking to set a new Premier League record by scoring for the 11th consecutive game after equalling Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record last weekend.
Van Gaal has painful memories of United’s 5-3 defeat at the King Power Stadium last season when the 29-year-old striker was involved in all five Foxes goals.
Vardy scored one – his first in the top flight – made two and won two penalties as Leicester stormed back from 3-1 down to secure a memorable victory and Van Gaal described him as a “great” player.
He said: “Last season he was a very nasty player for us. He scored, won a penalty, and now he has scored in 10 games in a row and when you do that then you are a great player.
“I only know Denis Bergkamp of as a player who did the same back home when I was manager of Ajax. It’s not easy to do that.
“I remember Vardy in that game last season. I don’t want to remember that game not just because of the result but also because the way we lost wasn’t good.
“We lost because the referee gave a penalty which Vardy provoked against Rafael Da Silva. I remember that very well and in my opinion he [the referee] changed the match.
“But, of course, we were still winning 3-2, so you cannot blame the referee you have to blame yourselves but it is was all about the recovery of Leicester in that game.”
Van Gaal insists United are in a better shape to stop Vardy’s run because they are more defensively organised than last season, a point underlined that they have kept 14 clean sheet sin 22 games in all competitions this season.
He added: “I think that our defensive organisation is normally the best part of our game. After that Leicester game our defensive organisation improved and we have proved that more than ever this season.”
Despite Leicester boss Ranieri dismissing title talk, Van Gaal insists the experienced Italian manager can keep Leicester at the top all season.
“Normally this kind of club can spend a long time competing at the top but at the end of the season it is more difficult [for them to sustain],” he said.
“But in England, because of the quality of the teams, because very team has the money to buy players, the difference between clubs is not so high.”
Van Gaal is anxious to keep United fans happy after his team came in for more criticism following their fourth goal-less draw in their last seven games against PSV Eindhoven in midweek.