Ten Hag hails ‘fantastic’ Man Utd star following ‘very good’ Europa League showing – ‘great attitude’
Erik ten Hag was happy with Manchester United’s “very good” performance in their Europa League last-16 first leg against Real Betis on Thursday night.
Ten Hag will have no doubt called for a response from his players on Thursday night after their shocking 7-0 loss at Anfield against rivals Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.
The Dutchman gave the same players a chance to right that wrong as he named an unchanged team for their Europa League last-16 first leg versus Real Betis at Old Trafford.
Man Utd responded in kind and took the lead through a fierce strike from Marcus Rashford early on. They spurned several chances to extend their advantage before Ayoze Perez equalised for the visitors.
The Red Devils sparked into life again in the second half, though. Antony, Bruno Fernandes and Wout Weghorst all scored in the 4-1 victory as they surely put the tie to bed heading into the return leg in Spain next week.
Ten Hag stated post-match that Fernandes was “fantastic” and his players showed a “great attitude” against Real Betis.
“I think we played a very good game in both halves. At half-time we should have been up 3-0 but we make one mistake it is 1-1,” Ten Hag told BT Sport.
“We scored some good goals, we gave the fans something to support and they gave it back so we are very grateful.
“It was a great attitude, we were good on the ball, made good switches and runs in behind and created a lot of chances.
“It is always good to see how the team reacts after a set-back. This is not the first time this season we can reset and bounce back. This team has character, so big compliment to the team.”
On Weghorst and Fernandes: “For a striker [Wout Weghorst] was so close so many times. He has already created chances and goals for others and he deserved his goal.
“Bruno [Fernandes] was fantastic. He led the team with his control of the game and passing and then he scored a goal.”
On the substitutions: “I think the substitutes made a good impact, and you see when we made the last two we made it 4-1.”
Rashford added after the 4-1 win that United’s response to the Liverpool embarrassment was always going to be “important”.
“It is always important to win the next fixture after a loss it is the only way to bounce back and continue to the momentum we had before the game,” Rashford told BT Sport.
“We always try to start quick and a goal always helps that and I think they defended the box well in the first half but in the second half, it opened up more as to be expected with the game at 1-1.
“We started well in both halves, and yeah it is important to try and score the goals and that is the difference.”
READ MORE: Pochettino beware… Five managers who should never have gone back to their old clubs