Erik ten Hag Acknowledges Key Contributions as Maguire’s Header Seals Crucial Win
In a thrilling Champions League encounter, Manchester United secured their first points in the group stage with a dramatic victory over Copenhagen, with manager Erik ten Hag praising the impact of substitute Christian Eriksen and lauding goalkeeper Andre Onana’s crucial penalty save.
Harry Maguire’s 72nd-minute header proved to be the decisive goal, marking a turning point for the Red Devils in a season that has seen its share of disappointments. Speaking to TNT Sports after the match, Ten Hag expressed his elation at the team’s resilience, especially in the dying moments when Onana’s penalty save secured the win.
Ten Hag said, “Of course, it is incredible and a great night. Especially in the dying second when you concede a penalty, but a brilliant save from Andre Onana. Those players, Harry Maguire played a good game and Andre Onana as well. He made an important save just after half-time.”
Highlighting the significance of Eriksen’s impact, Ten Hag noted, “Very important, Christian is always positive. He brings football, and we did not have the football in the first half. Copenhagen are well organized, and you have to break them. Christian Eriksen makes the right passes.”
Ten Hag also addressed the challenge of maintaining team balance, emphasizing the need for consistency in the back four to provide a foundation for the team’s play.
Match-winner Maguire admitted that United struggled in front of goal but emphasized the importance of the win, especially in the context of the challenging week the club faced after the passing of legend Sir Bobby Charlton.
Maguire said, “Incredible… an important win. This man [Onana] stepped up, and it was a massive save.” Regarding the win being dedicated to Sir Bobby Charlton, he added, “Definitely, it was meant to be. We were meant to win the game, a magnificent save, and a win dedicated to Sir Bobby and his family.”
Maguire expressed gratitude for the support of the fans, saying, “It is amazing… really proud and pleased how I have acted over this six to 12 months.”
Onana, the goalkeeper who played a pivotal role in the victory, humbly stated, “I’m just doing my job. The most important thing is to win against a tough team. I am happy for the victory, we did a good game, and a big goal from Harry [Maguire]. We are Manchester United. We are a big club, big players. It’s just a matter of time, now we have to continue like this. I have no doubt we will make it.”
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