Ten Hag: First half poor, second half great

Sunday 19 February 2023 18:08

Erik ten Hag felt his side improved significantly after half-time - and needed to - as Manchester United beat in-form Leicester City 3-0 at Old Trafford.

Marcus Rashford's 23rd and 24th goals of the season, plus a strike by substitute Jadon Sancho, made it a comfortable victory in the end. But Ten Hag was quick to point out the importance of David De Gea's interventions when the vistors were on top in the early stages.

You can watch the manager's interview with MUTV below, before scrolling down to read what he said to Sky Sports...
Ten Hag: This team is resilient Video

Ten Hag: This team is resilient

The manager gives his thoughts on De Gea's heroics, Rashford's finishing and more...


“We are happy with the result, it is a great result. I think when you play every third day, you can’t always get your same performance to the limits of the game and today, the first half was really tough. Firstly, Leicester played brilliantly, but secondly, we were rubbish. In our way of playing, we were really inconsequential, and undisciplined in our principles and rules of the game, and then we got problems. It was only [due to] David De Gea that we kept the clean sheet to half-time. We were lucky and we scored a great goal –  great pass by Bruno, great run from Rashy – to go 1-0 up.”


“I don’t have so much time here with you [to discuss them], but luckily we had a half-time [talk] – we could repair some stuff and I think the second half was brilliant. We came back outside and think it was the way I want to see our team playing. It was a lot of pleasure, but it has to do with getting into the right positions. It has to do with playing simple football, playing between the lines, reaching behind and it was enjoyable, how we created so many chances and scored great goals.”
Rashford: I knew I was onside! Video

Rashford: I knew I was onside!

Marcus Rashford gives his post-match thoughts, following another productive afternoon for him in front of goal...


“Yeah, he’s getting in the right positions, but don’t forget the team. Because [they] are team goals. So I want to highlight Bruno, again with two great assists, one for Rashy, one for Jadon Sancho. He [Rashford] has to receive the balls, otherwise he can’t score. Also the one [assist] from Fred was beautiful as well. There are so many players who can pass the ball in the right moment when he is in a position. Like Bruno, like Jadon, like Fred, like Christian Eriksen, who is unluckily not available. Sabitzer can do it as well, so we have the players, we can play good football, but we have to follow the rules.”


“He’s in the right direction, but I think he doesn’t achieve in this moment his limits. [There is] a lot of space for improvement with him. Now already he is on a high level and I’m sure when he keeps especially the joy of football, then it will really improve his performance and today you see when he’s coming on in the midfield position, [he makes] great runs, great passes. [He's] good in position. But what also gives me a lot of joy [is his] defence transition.”


“We don’t think about that. But first of all we think next game and Thursday, it’s going to be a big night – it has to be for us but we have to work for that. We have to fight the opponent with our fans and to make Old Trafford really a fortress and that is what we are thinking about. So the game plan has to be right and then we have to follow the rules and principles from our game.”