Erik ten Hag has delivered his verdict after Manchester United booked their place in the FA Cup semi-finals, where they will be facing Brighton & Hove Albion at Wembley.
United had to work for their return to the storied venue, however, with Fulham dominating proceedings for large parts of the quarter-final at Old Trafford.
The visitors took the lead in the second half before chaos ensued, which included three red cards for Fulham. Willian, Aleksandr Mitrovic and manager Marco Silva were all handed their marching orders.
Willian was dismissed after handling the ball on the goal line following a shot from Jadon Sancho, a decision that was taken after a lengthy VAR check.
Speaking after the game, Ten Hag agreed with the referee’s decision to award a penalty and send Willian off, claiming it was ‘obvious’.
“It was so clear and obvious. Handball in the box is a clear penalty. But it’s not for me to comment on them. It’s for me to talk about Manchester United and that’s it,” the Dutchman told ITV, via the BBC.
After the red cards, United cruised to victory as Marcel Sabitzer’s maiden goal for the Reds earned them the win before Bruno Fernandes scored his second of the game later on.
Prior to the incident, United were struggling and they looked like a fatigued side. Ten Hag denied any suggestions of tired legs after the game, however.
“This team has great character. We are mentally and physically fit, and I’m happy with our progress as a team,” he said.
“In possession, we could have been better. Out of possession, we were excellent. We came under pressure, gave away some set pieces and then conceded the goal. David de Gea kept us in the game after we conceded.”
A two-week international break is now upon us but Ten Hag will not be offered the chance to work on specifics with his team, with most of his first-team regulars called up to represent their nations.