Manchester United roared back from a tough start to claim an impressive 3-2 win against high-flying Aston Villa.
The Mancunian side started the game sluggishly, conceding two poor set play goals, but after showing some decent fight in the first half, they got in behind the Villans defence time and time again in the second half, to get a much-needed win.
The night will be remembered for two youngsters, Alejandro Garnacho’s fantastic brace and Rasmus Hojlund finally breaking his Premier League duck.
Erik ten Hag’s face was a mix of delight and relief, as he spoke to Amazon Prime Sports.
The Dutchman bemoaned his side’s start by claiming they were “losing by two set plays” where “two times they were not so focused”.
However, the coach praised his team’s spirit by stating that even in the first half, the team “played quite well and kept trying”. The former Ajax manager exclaimed that his half time message was to “keep doing what we did” and “try to get it to 2-1 to see what happens” and crucially, “keep believing”.
United responded and scored an offside goal and their first goal in the first 14 minutes of the second half.
Ten Hag bullishly commented that his side had competed with Arsenal and Liverpool and claimed, “if we play our best, we can beat anyone, we have the personality to do it”.
When pressed about the young attacking duo of Hojlund and Garnacho, the coach was quick to praise the whole front line.
“I’m so happy that the strikers scored. It is what we needed”. In a clear effort to boost morale further the Dutch coach praised his attacking trio as “all good finishers” but “they have to show it every game”.
Finally, Ten Hag spoke glowingly about his side’s ability to create chances and claims they stuck rigidly to his game plan.
“We transferred the game plan that we emphasised yesterday. We needed this. We light up the three strikers”.
The result and mainly performance is the shot in the arm that his side needed. United fans will go home with a sense of belief that they have not felt in a while.
Crucially, the team must show the same fight against Nottingham Forest at the weekend and prove this is not yet another false dawn like the Chelsea result.