Manchester United News: Van Gaal Hails Depay 'Turning Point' After Europa League Victory

Memphis Depay, left, had his best game for Manchester United against FC Midtjylland on Thursday.
Memphis Depay, left, at Old Trafford, February 25. The player's performance was praised by Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Louis Van Gaal hailed a turning point in Manchester United and Memphis Depay's seasons after the Dutchman starred in a 5-1 defeat of FC Midtjylland at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Depay has struggled so far this season to find the form that motivated United to spend £31 million ($43 million) for him last summer.

But he was the driving force behind a much improved performance by United, which retains a chance now of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League through either winning the Europa League or by finishing fourth in the English Premier League.

"I am very happy for him," Van Gaal said after the game. "Maybe it will be a turning point for him."

Depay set up the crucial equalizing goal for United after it trailed 1-0 on the night, and 3-1 on aggregate, following Pione Sisto's opener for the Danish side, and added lip gloss to the scoreline with a fine 90th-minute strike of his own.

"We enjoyed it out on the pitch. We're very happy to go through and we have to keep this spirit as we move on to Sunday," Depay said.

United plays Arsenal on Sunday in a crucial Premier League clash that it must win to keep in touch with rival Manchester City, which occupies the fourth and final Champions League qualifying place.