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Erik ten Hag commended Andre Onana for overcoming a challenging beginning at Manchester United and coming through in a crucial Champions League victory against Copenhagen.
Starting off with losses to Bayern Munich and Galatasaray, the Red Devils could not afford any mistakes against the Danish champions in their match at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Onana was responsible for subpar showings in both of the Champions League defeats, but redeemed himself in a remarkable finish to a poignant first home match since the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton.
The goalkeeper for the United team prevented Jordan Larsson’s penalty in stoppage time, which ended up being the final play of the game. This secured a 1-0 victory thanks to Harry Maguire’s header in the second half.
Ten Hag, the manager, commented on the summer acquisition from Inter Milan, saying that he displayed his unique character and was aware that he had not been performing up to his abilities before. The player had not been using his skills to their full potential and could have improved.
I believe our performance on Saturday (against Sheffield United) was excellent, and today’s performance was also strong.
“Additionally, remember the incredible save made during the counter-attack just after half-time.”
“That is one of his talents, as he excels at saving penalties.”
Onana’s incredible save ignited exuberant festivities at a lively Old Trafford. He was swarmed by his teammates and followed by the United substitutes flooding onto the field.
Ten Hag stated that there is a positive atmosphere in the dressing room and that he was unaware of Alejandro Garnacho’s actions on the penalty spot.
They are united, they battle as a team, and they rejoice as one.
“If we encounter obstacles, they can work together to help us overcome them. I believe that having a strong team spirit is essential for success.”
Despite some unconvincing performances, United has managed to win three consecutive matches across all competitions. However, they will need to make improvements as they face off against reigning Premier League champions, Manchester City, this Sunday.
“The first half was not good, it was difficult,” commented Ten Hag. “Copenhagen was well-organized.”
“It proved to be challenging to generate opportunities. Due to our inadequate build-up, we were unable to maintain a steady pace during the game.”
“I believe the second half was an improvement. During the first half, we were able to apply some pressure, but not consistently or for an extended period of time.”
“In the latter part, there was improvement in both aspects and the development was more effective.”
The building was improved with additional switches, resulting in more opportunities. I believe the victory was well-deserved, although it was a close call.
This was definitely a fortunate break for the United team, who had both Maguire and Onana to thank for their contributions, despite Maguire often facing criticism.
The future of the defender seemed to lie elsewhere after losing the captaincy during a summer filled with rumors. However, he has recently started in three consecutive matches and scored the crucial goal on Tuesday.
According to the Dutchman, he is exhibiting a more assertive style of play, taking control of the ball and making forward passes. He is also being more aggressive in defending, moving forward and pressing.
“He has a lot of confidence in one-on-one situations. I believe he is currently overpowering his opponents by being aggressive and assertive at the opportune moments.”
“He was also rewarded for his great heading skill, which was impressive. However, I must also mention the excellent pass from Christian Eriksen and the strong finish.”
After this, the focus will shift back to domestic affairs before the teams face off again in Denmark on November 8.
The coach of Copenhagen, Jacob Neestrup, stated that in our recent match, we had the opportunity to secure at least one point.
“We had a significant opportunity to score in the final moments, and it’s disappointing. It’s really disappointing.”
I do not believe that luck plays a role in football. The outcome of a game is determined by crucial saves or goals, and unfortunately, we have been unsuccessful in those aspects in our first three matches, resulting in only one point. These are the undeniable facts.