Erik ten Hag praised Scott McTominay for example for others after the tremendous sub sealed Manchester United’s belief-boosting win at fellow Champions League hopefuls Aston Villa.
Sunday’s conflict between fifth and sixth at Villa Park started with Rasmus Hojlund – the winner when these sides met on Boxing Day – scoring in his fifth straight Premier League match.
United misplaced their approach after that Seventeenth-minute opener in a vivid begin and Villa finally secured a deserved second-half leveller by Douglas Luiz.
But the Red Devils dug deep and McTominay made it 2-1 within the 86th minute after assembly Diogo Dalot’s cross with a robust header – his fourth Premier League objective this season from the bench.
“This season, last season as well (McTominay made an impact), so I think he’s an example for many other players nowadays,” Ten Hag stated of a participant whose general top-flight objective tally this time period is seven this time period.
“There are not many players who can come from the bench and bring this energy. He’s ready for every minute, always contributing to the team. Football is a team sport and we forget that often.
“But Scott is the example, always giving the spirit, in the week when he is training, doing the right things, working on himself, gives max.
“He’s ready for one minute, he’s ready for 90 minutes, he’s always ready. I think it’s great to have such a player.”
United rode their luck for big elements and Ten Hag appeared to point that Luiz’s shimmy goalscoring celebration fuelled his facet in a win that breathes new life into their Champions League hunt.
The Red Devils are actually 5 factors behind Villa in fifth, and 6 adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham.
“I think we can beat any opponent away or home,” the Dutchman stated after successful a primary Premier League away sport to a top-eight facet since taking cost.
“But sometimes away we have to believe it more because then we could have won in Arsenal, where actually we deserved to win.
“We could have won in Liverpool and it’s about belief and I think this team today believed they could win this game and that’s why I think, in the end, you win the game.”
Asked in regards to the influence of this outcome on the race for Champions League soccer, Ten Hag stated: “We have to catch up.
“We are firstly in February, many games to play, but we are returning. But, still, a long way to go and we have to improve our game.
“But, of course, we are pleased that we get a series of wins.”
This was the primary time this season that United have managed to win 4 consecutive matches in all competitions, whereas the stay unbeaten in 2024.
As for Villa, boss Unai Emery felt arduous executed by after his facet slipped to a 3rd straight residence defeat in league and cup.
“I want to tell you I am very proud of our work,” the Spaniard stated. “I’m very proud as everything we planned before we more or less were doing on the pitch.
“We were focused on a very good opportunity to make a big gap to them, but of course no win (for us).
“We know how difficult this match was. Manchester United in the moment they are now and the last matches they won being confident.
“But we had control of the game, we created more chances than them, we deserved it more than them, we conceded less chances than them.
“They were clinical today, their goalkeeper was fantastic and we weren’t clinical.
“We played, maybe along with the match against Manchester City here, the best match here this season.
“Even from when we arrived here today, I think it was one of the best matches we’ve played but the result was not good and we have to accept it.”