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Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag hints at new attack involving two players after Sheriff win

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag hints at new attack involving two players after Sheriff win

Following his team’s 3-0 victory over Sheriff on Thursday night, Manchester United  head coach Erik ten Hag hinted at utilizing Marcus Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo in combination.

Both players scored in the Old Trafford triumph, with Diogo Dalot also finding the back of the net. 

And with this victory, the Red Devils have now won four of their last five Europa League matches prior to next week’s pivotal matchup with Real Sociedad.

Manchester United entered the match against Sheriff with the knowledge that a win would improve their Europa League standing.

And despite having to be patient, they opened the score through Dalot just before halftime, with the Portugal international heading in a Christian Eriksen corner.

Rashford and Ronaldo scored in the second half to increase United’s lead, and the rest of the game was a cakewalk.

And Ten Hag, commenting after the game, hinted he could employ the duo in a two-pronged approach after being impressed by their performances.

“The second half, I wanted to see that, Cristiano and Marcus close together in the No 9 and 10 position and I think it can be a trap for opponents,” he said.

“It is always difficult against such players to defend that and we have seen that.

“They can take benefit from each other. It was also good to see for the right side when Bruno [Fernandes] went out and you get a different dynamic on the right as well, so I’ve seen some positive points in this game.”

For Ronaldo, it was a night of atonement.

The United star hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons last week when he refused to come on against Tottenham, instead storming down the tunnel while the match was still going on.

The 37-year-old was then accordingly dropped for the 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Saturday but, after displaying repentance, was reinstated to Ten Hag’s starting XI for Sheriff yesterday night.

And when asked if he was happy with Ronaldo’s display, the United boss said: “Yes. He kept going and the team kept going to put them in the right position.

“He kept going to get himself in the right positions. He didn’t give up, I think that’s what his whole career [has been about], that’s why he is so good and, in the end, he got the reward for it.

“The pressure is always there. Ronaldo knows that and we have to deal with it. All Manchester United players know that.

“All top scorers need that, every time, the confirmation they can do it. Tonight, again, he got his confirmation and he will grow from it.

“He is hungry. He plays with desire and wants to score goals, as many as possible.

“He has to invest a lot and the team has to invest a lot to put him in the right positions.”

United’s next Europa League match will be a rematch with Real Sociedad, against whom they lost 1-0 earlier in the season.

And Ten Hag lamented the decision to award a penalty against his team in September’s encounter, while urging his players to rise to the situation.

“So we know what we have to do in Real Sociedad: we have to win there with two goals difference,” continued the 52-year-old.

“We have to score two goals, minimum, and don’t concede one.

“The first game, we lost, crazy penalty. So we have to deal with that crazy penalty, so we have to turn [it] around, so that demands a big performance there, demands a winning attitude, but, first, we have Sunday.

“That’s more important, always go from game to game and we have now focus on Sunday, and West Ham United.”

On Sunday, the Red Devils’ next Premier League match is against West Ham, a team they defeated twice last season.

Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, they triumphed 2-1 at the London Stadium with goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Jesse Lingard.

And Rashford scored the game-winning goal in a January match that was supervised by interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag hints at new attack involving two players after Sheriff win

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