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“Made some great saves”- Erik ten Hag singles out Manchester United for praise after Brighton win

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag brands the conduct of forward Marcus Rashford after the Manchester derby as “unacceptable”.

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag praised the character of three players after the Brighton win

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag praised the character shown by David de Gea, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho during the shootout win over Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup semi-final.

United played out an enthralling goalless draw for 120 minutes against an in-form Brighton side, before holding the nerves to win the penalty shootout and reaching the final of the competition.

De Gea, who had a forgettable game against Sevilla last Thursday, did well in the normal game – both by making crucial saves and being secure on the ball. Rashford and Sancho, who have had a Wembley horror in a penalty shootout before (playing for England), stood up and dispatched their penalties with aplomb this time.

Erik ten Hag praised the character shown by David de Gea against Brighton after a horror show against Sevilla
Erik ten Hag praised the character shown by David de Gea against Brighton after a horror show against Sevilla. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Here’s what ten Hag said in praise of the trio (h/t Manchester Evening News):

“David played a great game, in and out of possession, he made some great saves, he’s done that so often this season, great saves, we have the most clean sheets in the Premier League, today a clean sheet as well, because we were so determined, we were fighting for it, we were organised.

“From Rashy and Jadon about penalties, we knew that, but we knew also they’re comfortable on penalties, they dealt with it. It’s a time ago, but they are so calm and composed in training with penalties. I know this is a different occasion but I think it’s great they had this experience now and I think it will help them for the future.”

The character display has been in sync with what United have done under ten Hag many times this season. Whenever the team has tasted a defeat, they usually come back with a strong performance to right the wrongs.

Luke Shaw praises Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho for taking penalties despite past horror.
Ten Hag praised Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho for taking penalties despite past horror. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

More of that would be required as we enter the final phase of this season. The FA Cup final is on June 3rd, so there is plenty of time to prepare for that. Ten Hag hopes he will have Raphael Varane for that game, which would be a massive boost.

Before that though, ending the league campaign on a high is a must. Although the Red Devils are comfortably placed in fourth position in the table, a defeat here and there and things could get tight in the top-four race.

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The next league game is an important one away at Tottenham Hotspur. Even though Spurs are there for the taking at the moment, some of the United players would be feeling the effects of playing 120 minutes on Sunday. Can they go again on Thursday? We will wait and see.