Following Manchester United’s 3-1 comeback victory over nine-man Fulham, manager Erik ten Hag has given his players the task of improving their overloads. On Sunday, March 19, the Red Devils made a dramatic run toward the FA Cup semifinals.
Throughout the victory at Old Trafford, Ten Hag directed his team’s actions. He appeared particularly irritated during the first half due to his men’s poor performance. Aleksandr Mitrovic gave Fulham a well-earned lead in the 50th minute.
However, after Willian saved Jadon Sancho’s goal-scoring attempt, the Cottagers were down to nine men. Mitrovic then, at that point, lost his cloth and was shipped off for conflicting with arbitrator Chris Kavanagh.
Recovering and making the most of a two-man advantage, the Red Devils turned the quarterfinal around. Marcel Sabitzer scored his first goal for Manchester United two minutes later to break the tie. Bruno Fernandes converted a penalty kick in the 75th minute.
After that, Fernandes added a final third. According to Manchester Evening News, Ten Hag responded to the win by stating that his players needed to use more overloads and perform better in possession:
“I’m cheerful and satisfied with the presentation yet I see a ton of opportunity to get better ready. We need to stay more on the ball, recognize where the overload is, and use it to attract opponents. We also need to show more composure with the ball.
The Dutch coach went on to discuss Liverpool’s (7-0) and Manchester City’s (6-3) previous defeats:
“I think we lost a lot of games because of our defensive transition, especially in the recovery, especially in big games like Liverpool and City. Therefore, we must act and exhibit more personality.”
He concluded by praising the victory but insisting that there is still room for improvement :
“So there’s a lot that needs to be improved, but I’m happy with the progress we’ve made, yeah, that’s clear,” With their victory, Manchester United advanced to the FA Cup semifinals. At Wembley, they will play Brighton & Hove Albion.
Raphael Varane had a minor injury before the match, so Maguire got a rare start in the win over Fulham. Under Ten Hag, the captain of Manchester United has fallen down the hierarchy. In competitions, he has started 12 of 24 games.
As he continues to serve as Varane and Lisandro Martinez’s backup, Maguire’s future is in doubt. Franck McAvennie, a former player for West Ham United, believes the defender will return to Leicester. He explained to Football Insider :
He could return to Leicester. They will acquire him at half price as well, which they could use. He really stood out there and was a star.” In 2019, Maguire joined Manchester United for a record-setting £85 million for a defender. Due to the cost, he has received constant criticism and may be absent in the summer. His agreement terminates in two years.
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