Erik ten Hag has guided Manchester United into their second cup final of the season after the Reds were victorious in a highly dramatic FA Cup semi-final against Brighton and Hove Albion at Wembley.
The Dutchman’s back was against the wall going into the game, with United disappointingly dropping out of the Europa League just three days earlier.
Speaking after the game, Ten Hag has admitted that he did not ‘recognise’ his side in the 3-0 defeat to Sevilla earlier this week, admitting it was good to see them back to normal at Wembley.
“On Thursday I saw a team I didn’t recognise but today we went back to usual. I could see determination and resilience. We fought for every yard and competed in every battle. We had good chances,” Ten Hag is quoted as saying by the BBC.
The two sides could not be separated after 120 minutes and with both sides scoring their first six penalties, a wayward effort from Solly March allowed Victor Lindelof to write his name in the history books.
The Swedish defender made no mistake from the spot, firing the ball into the top corner and setting up an all-Manchester FA Cup final for the first time in over 150 years.
“He is quite cool when it comes to penalties and he’s quite cool in general,” the manager added as he hailed the match-winner. “I thought Victor and Luke Shaw played brilliantly. They had great co-operation with Casemiro.”
Ten Hag also took time out to hail David de Gea, who recovered from a difficult night in Seville to deliver a stunning showing at Wembley, keeping United in the game on several occasions with inch-perfect saves.
“I was very impressed with him. He made some brilliant saves. It hurt when he made mistakes on Thursday,” Ten Hag said.
“Often when you make mistakes as a keeper you get punished. We let him down, we didn’t fight back for him. We bounced back today though.”
United will now play the remaining league fixtures before the focus is shifted to the final against Manchester City in June. As things stand, there is a possibility that United could stop their cross-city rivals from securing a historic treble.