Tyrell Malacia shares key to progress in Europe

Wednesday 22 February 2023 11:19

Manchester United defender Tyrell Malacia says that the Reds have to be prepared to win in an “ugly” fashion if needed to beat Barcelona and progress in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Last week’s first leg in the Nou Camp was far from being unsightly, with both teams going toe-to-toe to produce a thrilling contest. 

Ending in a 2-2 draw, it leaves everything to play for ahead of the return match at Old Trafford tomorrow, and there is an expectance that another attractive encounter could be on the way. 

Even if that, coupled with a United win, would be the perfect scenario to create a special European night at the Theatre of Dreams, Malacia acknowledges that the Reds have to be prepared to do whatever it takes to progress.

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The full-back, who joined the club from Feyenoord in the summer, knows what is needed to have success on a knockout path in Europe - albeit in a different competition - following his former side’s run to the Europa Conference League final last season.

“You have to be on your a-game because normally it’s – at the end [in the final] it’s one game – but now it’s two games, so you have to be on your A-game because if you lose, you’re out of the tournament. It’s important,” he told club media.

“Especially with this coach [Erik ten Hag], you want to play good football, but at the end, the result is the most important thing. 

“Sometimes you have to win in an ugly way, those kind of games you also have.”
United’s success so far this season has very much been a squad effort, with the collective togetherness and unity in Ten Hag’s team clear to see. 

Malacia believes that is a particular strong point in this Reds side, and therefore it could be key tomorrow on an evening where everyone will need to play their part.

“Everybody, even if you are on the bench, you pull for everyone, you cheer for everyone, and we go for everyone,” the full-back added.

“Even when some small things happen on the pitch, you see everyone is there involved, so that’s important I think.”

How to watch and follow United v Barcelona


All the details you need ahead of the second leg, with the tie perfectly poised after a classic in Catalonia.

Also key on Thursday night, without a doubt, will be the Old Trafford crowd and the backing from our home fans. 

Tyrell explains that the supporters have given the team an added boost throughout the campaign so far and is calling them to play their role again tomorrow.

“They give you the extra motivation to keep on going, even when you’re tired, so you go again and again and again. 

“That’s what we need, we need that connection.”