Erik ten Hag has hailed Manchester United’s Europa League victory towards Barcelona as “my greatest win” because the membership’s supervisor, and praised the character 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.
But after the introduction of Antony at half-time, the hosts regarded like a modified aspect. Fred equalised minutes after the break earlier than Antony himself fired residence the winner and seal Man Utd’s place within the Europa League final 16.
When requested if that is his greatest win as Man Utd supervisor, Ten Hag advised BT Sport: “I feel so, sure. We’ve had some good wins – Liverpool and Arsenal at residence.
“I feel this, over two legs, towards Barcelona – leaders in LaLiga, eight factors forward of Real Madrid. We have all seen Real Madrid this week.
“So in the event you can beat them, then sure, that is my greatest win.”
He later added: “It was too flat within the first half, just a little bit extra perception. Our spare man, Casemiro, we didn’t use sufficient. Aaron Wan-Bissaka had loads of area on the fitting aspect. We didn’t use him sufficient. Our urgent may have been extra courageous. That is what we stated at half-time.”
‘We have nice personalities in our group’
Thursday’s win proved to be a shocking comeback towards certainly one of Europe’s in-form sides, additional demonstrating simply how far Ten Hag has purchased his group since his summer season arrival.
He defined to BT Sport: “We have some nice personalities within the group – like with Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez. They come ahead.
“Antony and Garnacho do not worry anybody and we have now extra. Bruno, Casemiro. We have some nice personalities so even once we get setbacks, they transfer on.
“They are resilient and they’re centered on getting the end result even after conceding an inexpensive penalty. They imagine they will 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 stated: “Antony is courageous and he’s fearless. I feel what he introduced within the second half is what we would have liked, operating in behind, the dribbles, his targets. He is courageous, he’ll go for it and when the chance comes, he’ll strike. I feel he brings a lot to this group.
“Fred had an essential position. 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 right now the aim.”
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: “Football 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, you need to be prepared to return on and contribute to the group. You can not win trophies with 11, particularly not these days in soccer, you want a squad to carry totally different dynamics within the sport.”
Analysis: Half-time change wins it for Man Utd
Sky Sports’ Adam Bate at Old Trafford:
“Manchester United have had 19 targets scored by substitutes in all competitions this season, essentially the most of any aspect in Europe’s large 5 leagues. Antony’s will rank as one of the crucial essential and got here following a vital change 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. But Ten Hag is ruthless sufficient to recognise when one thing is just not working and his swift swap at half-time helped his group to show this tie round.
“Bruno Fernandes moved to the center, Jadon Sancho reverted to the left. Rashford went up entrance and supplied that risk in behind. Antony performed on the fitting. It labored. Fernandes arrange the equaliser having roamed to the left. Antony scored the winner.
“Ten Hag has felt wanting choices for a lot of his time in cost. No doubt he’ll need extra subsequent season. But he has already proven himself able to figuring out what’s required in a sport and discovering the answer. It made the distinction towards Barcelona.”