Man United: Eric ten Hag hopes Liverpool win is a turning point

Trailing deep in normal time and again in extra time, United eventually went through in thrilling style thanks to Amad Diallo's 121st-winner
Erik ten Hag hopes its a turning point after Liverpool win

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag believes the epic 4-3 FA Cup quarter-final victory over arch-rivals Liverpool can be the turning point of their season.

Trailing deep in normal time and again in extra time, United eventually went through in thrilling style thanks to Amad Diallo’s 121st-winner.

It keeps alive United’s hopes of lifting silverware this season and, with their main rivals for a Champions League spot, Tottenham and Aston Villa, both dropping points, Ten Hag feels the win, which triggered euphoric seasons among the home supporters at the final whistle, could be significant.

“This could be that moment,” said Ten Hag. “It can give the team the belief and energy to do amazing things. When you beat Liverpool you can beat any opponent.”

Ten Hag said he believed his side’s performance in the first half hour was their best of the season.

However, the situation appeared bleak when Alexis Mac Allister and Mo Salah both scored in the final stages of the opening period to give the visitors the advantage.

It took substitute Antony to rescue the situation 3 minutes from time then, after Harvey Elliott had put Liverpool ahead again, Marcus Rashford equalised eight minutes before the end of extra time before Diallo finished off a length of the field breakaway to book a Wembley semi-final showdown with Championship side Coventry, managed by old United FA Cup hero Mark Robins.

For Ten Hag, the ending proved questions about his side’s character were wide of the mark.

“I don’t understand why,” he said. “They are great characters and we see the determination again.

“This season we have had so many setbacks and every time we have had to adapt. Yesterday, Jonny Evans dropped out at the last minute and then we have to bring in a player (Aaron Wan-Bissaka) who didn’t play for 4 or 5 weeks and had only 1 or 2 training sessions.

“But we can deal better with such situations than we did in the autumn when it was difficult.

“I am very proud of the run we are in but we still have to catch up. I am happy Spurs lost and Villa dropped points. We are happy to be in the semi-final but we have to keep going.”

For Diallo, it was his best day in a United shirt. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was manager when the club paid £19m for the Ivory Coast international in 2021.

He has since had loan spells at Rangers and with Sunderland, where he won last season’s young player of the year award.

But injury has disrupted his progress this season and Sunday’s substitute appearance was only his fourth of the entire campaign.

“I am so happy for him,” said Ten Hag. “He is one of the players who had huge setbacks.

“He has returned knowing there is lot of competition in his position and he doesn’t always get the time he deserves. But he shows his contribution by coming on and scoring a goal.

“We know he can do it. He is in a problematic situation but he is fighting.”


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