Erik ten Hag hopes Man Utd cup win over Liverpool can be turning point in season

Posted Monday, March 18, 2024 by PA

Erik ten Hag hopes Man Utd cup win over Liverpool can be turning point in season

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag hopes his side’s dramatic FA Cup quarter-final win over arch-rivals Liverpool will prove to be the turning point of their season.

The Dutchman declared himself happy with his weekend after United snatched a 4-3 victory in time added on in extra time courtesy of Amad Diallo’s breakaway goal, having seen Tottenham and Aston Villa both drop points in the race for the top four in the Premier League.

Speculation about Ten Hag’s long-term position has increased since Sir Jim Ratcliffe bought a 27.7 per cent share of the club but the manager believes this victory could be pivotal.

“Every team needs a moment into a season and we have never had this moment,” he said.

“This could be the moment where the team can have the belief and energy that they can do amazing things.

“I think when you can beat Liverpool in the way we did you can beat any opponent – it is up to us to prove that point. Today we did.”

Ten Hag was asked whether the nature of this victory, achieved after they came from 2-1 and 3-2 down, was more significant than their Carabao Cup win last year.

He added: “It was a good win but I’ve had some more good wins, I can tell you. For me winning a trophy is more. Maybe it can be very important towards winning another trophy.

“I am pleased with the performance of my team, the first 35 minutes we showed again that the future of this team is very bright and there is huge potential and we have to get it out.

“We have to get to the consistency but from January onwards we are ready, we got results.

“After the first 35 minutes we had our drop, allowed Liverpool to be back in the game and we know they have a very good team but we showed resilience and determination to win this game.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted he could not find fault with his side but admitted it was the first time he had seen them struggle physically as their gruelling quest for an unprecedented quadruple finally caught up with them.

“Obviously the day was on and above the edge, it was really tough for us with all the 130-whatever minutes,” he said.

“The second half was absolutely exceptional but we didn’t finish the game off and when you leave the door open at Old Trafford it is clear they will get chances and they could score the equaliser and Marcus (Rashford) had a big chance at the end of normal time.

“They could win it there and then it got really hard for us, that was the first time I really saw my team really struggling.

“The problem was we didn’t even know who to take off. In 90 minutes it would have been fine but then with extra time our options were really not (there).

“We say we have to bring the kids in at the right moment but it was not the right moment.”

Asked who he wanted to take off, Klopp added: “Macca (Alexis Mac Allister) definitely, Wataru (Endo) definitely, Darwin (Nunez) definitely. Lucho (Luis Diaz) we did.

“The boys play all the time and the way we conceded the last two goals you could see were not on top of our game anymore – we gave two balls away but absolutely no criticism of the boys.

“They gave absolutely everything, today it was not enough and that is what we have to accept.”


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