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Match-winner on a mission

Van Buyten atones for midweek red card

Four minutes left, and Luca Toni was replaced by Martin Demichelis: at first sight, it looked as though Louis van Gaal was settling for a 1-1 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt. The impression was wrong: the coach was going all-out for victory, as he pushed Daniel van Buyten into attack. “I felt Toni had given his all, and I know Van Buyten is good in the air,” explained Van Gaal. It proved a masterstroke, when the Belgian headed the winning goal two minutes later.

“I said to the coach weeks ago that I could go forward for the final minutes if he wanted me to,” the towering defender revealed. That was exactly what Van Gaal wanted on Saturday. “When Martin Demichelis came on, the coach indicated he wanted me in attack – and it paid off. The coach has a good nose for these things.”