Varane: I like the spirit the team showed

Monday 10 January 2022 23:03

Manchester United defender Raphael Varane has said the team’s togetherness helped them to a narrow 1-0 victory over Aston Villa in the Emirates FA Cup.

The Reds progressed to the fourth round, where they will play Middlesbrough, thanks to Scott McTominay’s headed goal early in the first half at Old Trafford.

Speaking to MUTV and BBC Sport, the Frenchman said: “Intensive match. I think some moments during the game we had to suffer and we were together and the spirit was good. Clean sheet and the victory. so that’s very good for us.”

He added: "It was a difficult match. We had to suffer a lot on the pitch but together, and I liked the spirit of this match.”

Despite being a tense affair, the game was an open one with both teams having spells peppering the other’s goal.

“These kinds of games, you don’t have a second to relax and be chilled,” said Raphael. “You don’t have this time and you just have to focus all the time. It’s really intense and, yeah, we have to play for our fans, we have to play with a heart and I think the spirit was very good.”

“You are under pressure all of the game and that’s very intense. You have to be focused [for] 90 minutes.”

A key moment in the match was when Danny Ings saw what would have been an equaliser ruled out following a lengthy VAR stoppage, with Varane admitting it wasn’t entirely clear what was going on.

“No, no communication. It was a little bit long, but we knew it was about offside or a fault, so after the decision we just have to be focused on the game and fight for the victory.

“It was a long moment – I think it is the right decision. It is just a moment in the game and I think the spirit of the team was good.”

On the victory and progressing to the next round, he said: “It’s very important for our confidence, I think we just have to be focused and be together and play with energy and sometimes we want more control during the game, but when it’s not possible we have to fight and we showed a good spirit today.

“It’s very important for us, it’s a new competition for me and I know here it’s important for fans, for all the club, so we have to fight and we have to believe it’s possible to win a trophy this season.”

Meanwhile, the Frenchman added he’s ready for another tough test when the two sides meet again in the Premier League on Saturday.

“Yeah, we know what we did this game, we are waiting for another fight, another intense game. So we have to recover first and prepare well the game for another fight,” he said.