Ten Hag hails 'brilliant impact' of substitutes after comeback victory

By Sports Desk October 06, 2022

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag praised the "brilliant impact" of his substitutes as the Red Devils came from behind to beat Omonia Nicosia 3-2 in the Europa League.

United dominated the first half but went into the break a goal down after a quick counterattack allowed Karim Ansarifard to fire the hosts into the lead.

Ten Hag introduced Marcus Rashford at the interval and he levelled seven minutes after coming on with a superb curled finish before setting up fellow substitute Anthony Martial with a clever flick to put United in front.

Rashford added a third late on, and despite conceding again to make it 3-2, United held on to earn an important victory that keeps them second in Group E, three points behind leaders Real Sociedad.

United's last five goals in all competitions have now come from substitutes, a record for the club in the Premier League era (since 1992-93), and Ten Hag highlighted their work after the match.

When asked what he told the players at half-time to inspire the second-half comeback, Ten Hag told BT Sport: "More runs. We were too static.

"We had to make the movement to get behind – that is why we made two subs. The subs had a brilliant impact. That makes the team stronger."

Despite the win, Ten Hag acknowledged his side must improve, adding: "We started well, with a couple of chances. Then an unnecessary mistake and a really bad ten minutes.

"We have to learn from that. We let the crowd come alive and you have to avoid that."

Martial has now been directly involved in four goals in his three appearances for United in all competitions this season, while he has scored in consecutive matches as a substitute for the Red Devils for the first time since August 2017.

He scored a double off the bench in the 6-3 defeat to Manchester City at the weekend and impressed again against Omonia, with Ten Hag grateful to have him back after injury.

"It was really a big disappointment for this team and for me when he got injured in the last 10 minutes against Atletico Madrid [in pre-season]," Ten Hag said.

"We missed him in the first couple of weeks and that also had an effect on our team performance."

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    Malacia last appearance came for the Netherlands against Croatia in the Nations League semi-final in June 2023. 

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