Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has praised his team’s fighting spirit as they defeated Brighton & Hove Albion in the semi-final of the FA Cup today.
United and Brighton played an enthralling draw that went to extra time and penalties. Solly March missed his kick, and Victor Lindelof booked United’s place in the final.
The Red Devils will play their city rivals Manchester City, looking to complete a cup double after securing the League Cup.
United knew they needed to respond after Sevilla knocked them out of the Europa League on Thursday.
Ten Hag said (via Man Utd’s website): “It was a difficult game. I think it was a great battle for the fans, especially for the fans at home. It was a great final.
“In the end, the penalties were really good as well. It was so close and, of course, I am very happy with the performance of the team.
“They were so determined, so dominant to win this game and from the first moment, there was only one thing in mind. We have to win this game. So the willingness was really high.
“It [criticism] was justified on Thursday night but, today, the lads deserve compliments and credit because they bounced back once again – they showed character.
“What we have to learn and improve, which must be our next step, is that if we have a setback in a game, we fight back in that same game, that we keep calm and fight back in that same game.
“We have to deal with setbacks and we can do it better but in between games, and it’s not the first time, we do it very well.”
There was also praise for United keeper David de Gea. The goalkeeper had to bounce back from a woeful performance in Spain against Sevilla.
Ten Hag admitted that the Spaniard had a bad day in the office against the Andalusians. However, he said the other players could have prevented the collapse.
Man Utd will face City for the FA Cup title on June 3 but must secure their top-four position in the league table first.
Following Newcastle United’s 6-1 thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur today, the Magpies are up to third while United are fourth.
However, Man United have a game in hand. They travel to London to face Spurs on Thursday.
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