De Gea: We want to win it
David De Gea has underlined Manchester United’s intention to go all the way in this season’s Europa League after the Reds sealed a smooth passage into the quarter-finals with a 5-1 aggregate win against Real Betis.
Following our 4-1 victory at Old Trafford in last week’s first leg, De Gea kept a clean sheet in the second tie in Andalusia as Marcus Rashford netted the winner at the other end, making sure of a 1-0 success.
After our progression from the two-legged round-of-16 tie, the Reds can now look forward to discovering our fate for the remainder of the competition in Friday’s draw, which will reveal our quarter-final opponents, as well as potential foes in the semi final and final, too.
With a Carabao Cup trophy already to our name this term, our no.1 told MUTV that he and his United team-mates have their eyes on lifting more silverware yet this season.
De Gea: We've shown our Europa League intentions
David De Gea says United will take belief and confidence into the latter stages of the Europa League...
“Trophies are important for us,” said De Gea. “I think the manager has shown that, putting the strong team every game.
“We want to try to win the competition. We know there are still good teams, but we are confident, we believe in ourselves and let’s see what happens in the draw.”
United overcame a strong start from our Spanish counterparts at Estadio Benito Villamarin, who carried a considerable threat, particularly in the opening stages of the first half.
However, Erik ten Hag’s side stood firm and went on to dominate the game, which we might have won by more than the single goal in the end.
De Gea felt our defensive display was key against Betis, and he agreed that our performance was a professional one.
“Of course, we knew we are three goals in front, but we came to a difficult pitch against a very good team,” added the 32-year-old. “I think they showed in the first 20 minutes, they have two, three big chances.
“But I think the team defend really well, we play good football. At the end, we score a great goal. We are in the next step.
“From the striker until the goalkeeper, we defend really well. We press really high, we try to recover the ball high and try to score goals.
“I think after the first 20 minutes, because they were trying everything to score, after that, I think we controlled the game. We have very good chances, we score a great goal and we are in the next round.”
Watch Erik's post-match press conference
Press conference | After Real Betis v United, Erik is asked about Pellistri's performance, Rashford's form and more...
A quarter final awaits the Reds in two competitions, and we will contest the first of those this weekend, welcoming Fulham to Old Trafford in the last eight of the Emirates FA Cup.
Our experienced goalkeeper shared what Ten Hag had said to him and his team-mates in the moments after the game, as our priority turns to the visit of the Cottagers.
“Starting now, the manager says, ‘Come on guys, take the shower and go home quickly to recover as soon as possible.’
“Yeah, it’s non-stop. We play again on Sunday, another big game, another big competition, so we have to recover really well, prepare the game as best as we can and go again.”