Ten Hag: We deserved the win
Erik ten Hag was proud of the way his Manchester United side once again showed character to overcome a “difficult” start against Fulham and finish the Premier League season on a high.
The Reds fell behind to an early Kenny Tete header and only an excellent penalty save by David De Gea from Aleksandar Mitrovic prevented the Cottagers taking control at Old Trafford.
From there, United dominated and goals from Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes secured a fourth straight victory and third place in the table, setting us nicely for next weekend’s Emirates FA Cup final.
Here are the key points from Ten Hag’s post-match press conference and interviews with BBC and Sky…
27 HOME WINS IS HISTORIC
"We absolutely wanted to win. Fulham are a good team who’ve played a great season but I think we created many chances. So I’m happy with this win, happy with third place and I’m happy that we matched the record here at Old Trafford – 27 home wins this season. It’s historic and a big achievement."
SLOW START PUNISHED
"It was a difficult start – I think we were quite ill-disciplined and not organised, and we got punished for that. But once again this team showed determination and after that we were better organised in and out of possession, we set the tempo and we created many chances. We won a lot of balls high up the pitch, we had good pressing and good turnovers, we found many players between the lines and they had huge problems with it."
DE GEA SAVE WAS KEY
"I think it was the turning point. The save David made was brilliant: it stimulated the team to get into that intensity and pick up the game and win it, and we scored two great goals. At half-time we demanded the players to be calm. We grew as a team and as individuals and in the end the win was justified. It gives us all confidence for next week. We have a trophy and we can win another trophy."
A SQUAD GAME
"We have more than a starting XI of players. We have played so may games this season so you can’t speak about a starting XI. When we pick the team, we look to what our opponents’ strengths and weaknesses are. To finish third is a massive achievement with all the games we had to play. We played Thursday across the whole season because we play on Thursday in Europe. We don’t always find an ideal schedule, it was often a disadvantage compared to the other team, but we dealt with it and it is why I am very happy we are third in this tough league, behind Manchester City and Arsenal."
MORE TO COME
"We are going, I feel, in the right direction but there is still a lot to come. We are not where we want to be, where this club belongs. But we are on a good pathway and we have to continue that, with higher standards. Good is not good enough, we have to do better. There is potential in this team and in individual players and we showed during the season that we made progress. That’s a compliment to the players but also the coaches – we work really hard. You have to make the investment, have a good strategy, work hard and you get rewarded for it."
WE HAVE TO INVEST
"The club knows if you want to go, if you want to play top four, if you want to compete for trophies in this tough league, then you have to invest, otherwise you don’t have a chance, because other clubs will do. We have seen it, in the winter, that all the clubs around us made huge investments. We didn’t, and still, we made it, so I’m really happy and proud of my team."
WE CAN BEAT CITY
"I think you have always a chance in football. History shows we beat them in January. Man United, the last couple of years, beat City many times. These players know when they play at their levels they can compete. It’s obvious. We play at this moment the best team, but still there is a chance and we have to go for the chance. We have to give everything and after the game we can’t have excuses for ourselves."