Manchester United have always been known for their late goals, but that characteristic spirit had been lost in recent years. But the Red Devils seem to have regained their crushing touch.
Erik ten Hag has been praised for his management of the team and the patterns of play that have emerged, but his greatest achievement so far is the restoration of the club’s famous never-say-die attitude.
United scored with virtually the last shot of the game through substitute Alejandro Garnacho to beat a spirited Fulham side 2-1 at Craven Cottage on Sunday.
United’s late save
The Reds have now scored late winners twice, once in the Premier League and once in the Europa League, while scoring a very important equalizer in added time against Chelsea.
It was vital that United win the match in London, especially considering the players would be out for six weeks due to the World Cup.
Alejandro Garnacho is special. pic.twitter.com/l9PY6jYl8C
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 13, 2022
But the circumstances did not help the Dutchman in his preparation. He had to let Cristiano Ronaldo go because he wanted to go to Portugal, while injuries and other problems meant they didn’t have Antony and Jadon Sancho up front.
Diogo Dalot’s suspension forced Ten Hag to field left-back Tyrell Malacia to the right of the defense with an out-of-form Anthony Elanga in front of him.
So weak was the bench that Ten Hag was unable to make any attacking changes apart from bringing in hero of the night Garnacho with Scott McTominay sometimes joining Marcus Rashford as an additional striker.
EtH needs help in January
Malacia struggled throughout the game and that was to be expected considering he was playing in an unfamiliar position and Elanga didn’t help him at all.
But the Dutch defender fought valiantly and never shied away from his duties. Ten Hag will be pleased with his fierce attitude, something that has been picked up by the team as a whole.
The result will no doubt please the boss, but he will desperately plead his case against the Glazers as he badly needs reinforcements if United are to do well this season.
The post-World Cup schedule is insane and with United still in four competitions at the moment, a striker and backup right-back are minimum requirements at this stage.
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