EPL: It's all-in-or-nothing for Van Gaal and Manchester United

Van Gaal and the players shouldn't become complacent at this stage. It could all still go horribly wrong for them.

What a week it has been for Manchester United, after a wretched season.

They brushed aside Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup 5th round to progress into the quarterfinals, then overcame a first leg deficit against Danish club FC Midtjylland to progress into the Europa League Round of 16, and then topped it with a scintillating victory over arch rivals Arsenal in the Premier League.

When all seemed to be going against them, following injuries to their three key players - Wayne Rooney, David De Gea and Anthony Martial - leading into last week, 18-year-old Marcus Rashford stepped up to ease the blues. Now the Red Devils are just three points off the top four spots, even though Manchester City has one game in hand.

But Van Gaal and the players shouldn't become complacent at this stage. It could all still go horribly wrong for them.

While the top four spots are still some distance away, Manchester United has to contend with pressure from clubs immediately below them to hold onto a top six finish. West Ham United under Slaven Bilic have been in terrific form this season and are just one point behind United, while Ronald Koeman's Southampton are a further three points behind.

If United hadn't beaten Arsenal and Southampton had managed to hold on for a draw against Chelsea, the league table would have looked quite different. And we can't discount Liverpool completely, especially if Klopp manages to keep Daniel Sturridge fit till the end of the season.

Between March 2 and March 20, Manchester United will be playing six matches in all competitions. This run of fixtures include a two-legged Europa League encounter with Liverpool, the FA Cup quarter final against West Ham and ends with what could prove to be a make-or-break match against Manchester City. The Premier League match against Crystal Palace has been postponed as of now, though it's not clear if they'll have play it in March itself or not.

Given the serpentine queue in front of the medical unit at their Carrington training base, it goes without saying that the club will be stretched to the limit to get through this run of fixtures. They could well be in the Europa League quarter final, FA Cup semi final and the Premier League top four, come the end of March. Or they could be out of the Europa League, FA Cup and the Premier League top six. March will decide if the club, players and fans can look back at the 2015-16 season with some sense of pride.