Beating Barcelona takes Manchester United’s Erik ten Hag transformation to a different level-Sports activities Information , Firstpost

Manchester United’s head coach Erik ten Hag applauds followers on the finish of the Europa League playoff second leg match between Manchester United and Barcelona. AP

Erik ten Hag’s transformation of Manchester United now has a European scalp to get enthusiastic about as Barcelona have been vanquished on an evening the Pink Devils rolled again the years at Outdated Trafford. Second half targets from Fred and Antony secured a memorable United win because the La Liga leaders have been crushed 2-1 on the night time and 4-3 on mixture.

The truth that United’s reward is merely a spot within the final 16 of the Europa League reveals there stays a protracted strategy to go for the three-time European champions to rediscover their previous glories on the continental stage.

However momentum is constructing beneath the previous Ajax boss with United nonetheless within the hunt for 4 trophies in Ten Hag’s first season in cost.

Learn | Manchester United ‘can beat anybody’: Erik Ten Hag

A six-year await silverware might come to an finish when United face Newcastle within the League Cup last on Sunday.

With out a league title in a decade, United are simply 5 factors adrift of Premier League leaders Arsenal and likewise into the FA Cup final 16, the place they face West Ham at residence.

For a very long time since Alex Ferguson’s departure in 2013, Outdated Trafford misplaced its aura as an intimidating vacation spot for visiting sides.

However nobody is wanting ahead to a visit to the Theatre of Goals with United unbeaten in 18 video games in all competitions at residence.

‘Sturdy perception’ 

Embarrassing defeats to Brighton and Brentford to start Ten Hag’s time in cost are actually a distant reminiscence.

Barcelona joined the record of huge names crushed on residence soil in latest months, becoming a member of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester Metropolis.

“You want a method to construct it but additionally outcomes to get that robust perception,” mentioned Ten Hag on how he has lifted United out of the mire of a depressing 2021/22 season after they completed sixth within the Premier League.

“That’s one other step as a result of when you possibly can beat Barcelona, your perception will be actually robust since you are then in a position to beat anybody.”

Buoyed not solely by outcomes on the pitch, however the potential departure of unpopular homeowners the Glazer household, the United fanbase is jubilant.

“The followers have been with us within the hardest moments,” mentioned United’s captain for the night time Bruno Fernandes.

“This season we now have been actually good as a result of they’re at all times behind us however that is one thing totally different.

“You’ll be able to really feel between them and us there’s something particular, Outdated Trafford was bouncing that’s the reason we received the consequence.”

Regardless of the Europa League’s second tier standing, this was nearly definitely United’s best night time in continental competitors since eliminating Paris Saint-Germain from the Champions League final 16 in a dramatic night time on the Parc des Princes 4 years in the past.

The await such a European night time beneath the lights at Outdated Trafford goes even additional again to when Barcelona have been crushed within the semi-finals of the 2008 Champions League.

“You’ll be able to see what it means for the gamers. We haven’t seen that for such a very long time,” mentioned Paul Scholes, who scored the winner that night time.

“To see the eagerness that these guys have for Manchester United is simply implausible, particularly the response to the group.”

Ten Hag is hoping that is simply the beginning on United’s street again to competing on the highest degree in Europe.

“We’ve got the potential to beat the massive groups,” he added. “We’ve got crushed Metropolis, Arsenal, Liverpool. If we present self-discipline and crew spirit this crew can do quite a bit.”

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