Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag praised Scott McTominay as “great” after his match-winning goal secured a crucial victory against Aston Villa. The Red Devils took the lead in the first half thanks to Rasmus Hojlund, but Douglas Luiz equalized for Villa in the second period.
With the game seemingly heading for a draw, McTominay rose to the occasion in the 86th minute, connecting with a Diogo Dalot cross to powerfully head the ball into the net and secure all three points for United. This is not the first time McTominay has scored a late goal under Ten Hag’s management, highlighting his importance to the team.
Reflecting on the match, Ten Hag expressed his satisfaction with United’s bright start but criticized their defensive approach in the latter stages of the game. He acknowledged the fatigue among the players and praised the mentality of the substitutes who made a significant impact.
Ten Hag specifically highlighted McTominay’s goal-scoring ability and his knack for finding himself in goal-scoring positions. The manager acknowledged that the team had some issues, with the game resembling a back-and-forth tennis match at times. He emphasized the importance of making the right decisions instead of constantly going for goal.
However, Ten Hag also appeared to criticize his team’s lack of ambition, suggesting that they should have continued attacking after taking the lead in the first 20 minutes. He believed that they could have maintained their attacking mindset instead of changing their approach to see out the result.
The victory keeps Manchester United in sixth place in the Premier League table, but they have closed the gap with fifth-placed Aston Villa to just five points. Their next match is scheduled for February 18, as they travel to face Luton.
Overall, it was a hard-fought win for Manchester United, with McTominay once again proving his worth as a goal-scoring threat. Ten Hag will be hoping that his team can build on this victory and continue their push for a higher position in the league standings.