Manchester United are one step closer to another final this season as Erik ten Hag’s men comfortably dispatched Real Betis over two legs in the Europa League.
The narrow second-leg victory in Andalusia confirmed a 5-1 aggregate win overall, with United now waiting to discover who they will face in the quarter-finals of the tournament.
Despite going into the second game with a three-goal lead on aggregate, Ten Hag was wary of complacency and named a strong side. Speaking after the game, he explained why he is pleased to have won both games.
"No red cards, no injuries!" 😂
A smiley Erik ten Hag can't be happier after win over Real Betis! 🙌#UEL pic.twitter.com/J1IgRBmSOV
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 16, 2023
“I’m happy but we like challenges,” he told BT Sport after the game, as seen above. “We knew before that Betis is a really good team. We have seen it against Real Madrid, against Barcelona. We beat them twice so I think we performed very well.”
Quizzed further on the hame in Spain, Ten Hag explained how United improved in the second half after a nervy start to the game.
“I think we could also go into the lead but there was some moments in defensive transitions that they could break and we have to avoid that, keep more control of the ball, to use the overload in the midfield,” he added.
“We didn’t always do it and the second half was much better. But you see also the energy is out of the opponent and especially after you get the first goal.”
Ties are no longer seeded in the Europa League, meaning that United could face teams from their own league and opponents from the earlier group stage. The draw for the quarter-finals takes place on Friday.