Erik ten Hag has hailed Manchester United’s Europa League victory in opposition to Barcelona as “my largest win” because the membership’s supervisor, and praised the persona of his gamers to return from behind.
After an electrical first leg on the Nou Camp final week that noticed the edges draw 2-2, Man Utd went behind early on within the second leg after a Robert Lewandowski penalty.
However after the introduction of Antony at half-time, the hosts seemed like a modified facet. Fred equalised minutes after the break earlier than Antony himself fired house the winner and seal Man Utd’s place within the Europa League final 16.
When requested if that is his largest win as Man Utd supervisor, Ten Hag instructed BT Sport: “I believe so, sure. We have had some good wins – Liverpool and Arsenal at house.
“I believe this, over two legs, in opposition to Barcelona – leaders in LaLiga, eight factors forward of Actual Madrid. Now we have all seen Actual Madrid this week.
“So if you happen to can beat them, then sure, that is my largest win.”
He later added: “It was too flat within the first half, slightly bit extra perception. Our spare man, Casemiro, we didn’t use sufficient. Aaron Wan-Bissaka had numerous house on the correct facet. We didn’t use him sufficient. Our urgent may have been extra courageous. That’s what we mentioned at half-time.”
‘Now we have nice personalities in our staff’
Thursday’s win proved to be a surprising comeback in opposition to one in every of Europe’s in-form sides, additional demonstrating simply how far Ten Hag has purchased his staff since his summer time arrival.
He defined to BT Sport: “Now we have some nice personalities within the staff – like with Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez. They arrive ahead.
“Antony and Garnacho do not worry anybody and we’ve extra. Bruno, Casemiro. Now we have some nice personalities so even after we get setbacks, they transfer on.
“They’re resilient and they’re centered on getting the end result even after conceding an affordable penalty. They consider they’ll flip it round.”
He additionally praised the contributions of goalscorers Antony and Fred – evaluating his midfielder’s marking of Frenkie de Jong to that of a mosquito.
He mentioned: “Antony is courageous and he’s fearless. I believe what he introduced within the second half is what we would have liked, working in behind, the dribbles, his targets. He’s courageous, he’ll go for it and when the chance comes, he’ll strike. I believe he brings a lot to this staff.
“Fred had an necessary function. Already, final week in Barcelona, and this week, the identical. He needed to first cease Frenkie de Jong from taking part in.
“He needed to play as a mosquito round him and go behind and he did it. He was magnificent. A superb help for Rashy in Barcelona and at this time the objective.”
It was one other sport through which half-time substitutions have influenced the end result, and Ten Hag was eager to emphasize that it takes a squad to achieve success.
He added: “Soccer is 11 versus 11, we assault with 11 and defend with 11, however it’s greater than that it’s concerning the squad. You want differing types and totally different profiles.
“When your time is there, it’s a must to be prepared to return on and contribute to the staff. You can’t win trophies with 11, particularly not these days in soccer, you want a squad to deliver totally different dynamics within the sport.”
Sky Sports activities’ Adam Bate at Previous Trafford:
“Manchester United have had 19 targets scored by substitutes in all competitions this season, probably the most of any facet in Europe’s huge 5 leagues. Antony’s will rank as one of the vital necessary and got here following a vital swap by Erik ten Hag on the interval.
“Wout Weghorst has began all 11 video games since signing for United final month and is clearly a favorite of his compatriot. However Ten Hag is ruthless sufficient to recognise when one thing is just not working and his swift swap at half-time helped his staff to show this tie round.
“Bruno Fernandes moved to the center, Jadon Sancho reverted to the left. Rashford went up entrance and provided that menace in behind. Antony performed on the correct. It labored. Fernandes arrange the equaliser having roamed to the left. Antony scored the winner.
“Ten Hag has felt in need of choices for a lot of his time in cost. Little question he’ll need extra subsequent season. However he has already proven himself able to figuring out what’s required in a sport and discovering the answer. It made the distinction in opposition to Barcelona.”