Premier League

Erik ten Hag “really happy” with Manchester United fightback in the derby

Sports Mole

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag hails his players for their fightback against Manchester City in the Manchester derby.

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has lavished praise on his team for fighting back from one goal behind to record a 2-1 victory over Manchester City in the Manchester derby.

Jack Grealish sent the Citizens ahead in the 60th minute of the contest, with the England international coming off the bench to head a Kevin De Bruyne cross into the back of the net.

However, Bruno Fernandes levelled the scores in the 78th minute before Marcus Rashford won it for the 20-time English champions with a close-range finish four minutes later.

“The first half we played very well. We defended very well and broke in good opportunities. We were really happy at half-time,” Ten Hag told BT Sport.

“After half-time we had to sub [Anthony] Martial, he had some complaints, and the game changed. City came in, we were not proactive. They scored. The spirit of the team is so huge, the belief is there that the game is 90 minutes and we can fight back. I’m really happy with the performance of the team.”

Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes scores their first goal on January 14, 2023© Reuters

There was controversy surrounding Fernandes’s leveller, with Rashford in an offside position, but the Englishman did not touch the ball, so he was deemed not to be interfering with the play.

“I can see it from the other side as well. The rules, it’s a confusing moment for the back line of the opponent,” Ten Hag said when asked about the equaliser.

“The rules say Marcus didn’t touch the ball and he wasn’t interfering. Bruno came from the back – but I can see it from the other side.”

Ten Hag also praised Rashford for being “resilient”, as he managed to recover from a painful blow to the hip in the latter stages of the first period.

“Players have to be resilient. You get kicked in a game,” added the Dutchman.

Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes in action with Manchester City's Bernardo Silva on January 14, 2023© Reuters

“It happened and it hurts but you have to keep going. You have to do it to get the righ…

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