Manchester United show mental strength in defeating Real Betis just days after humbling loss to Liverpool

After a humiliating defeat to Liverpool, Manchester United needed a worse answer and they got it with a 4-1 win in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16 against Real Betis at Old Trafford on Thursday. This win is a testament to Erik ten Hag’s influence as he received a 180-degree turn from his captain Bruno Fernandes who scored an insurance goal and also played a decisive role in Marcus Rashford’s first goal.

Fernandes was criticized for unprofessional play during that shocking 7-0 defeat to Liverpool at the weekend, but according to ten Hag, the team got through it.

“We talked about it, we saw it and made the right conclusions. Then we have to reboot and recover,” ten Hag said before the match. “We know that there will always be failures in the season. It was a huge setback, that’s clear.”

On Thursday, they seem to have taken a step forward. Right at the gate, ten Hag paid off, with Rashford scoring just six minutes into the match for his 25th goal in all competitions. Fernandes was about to pass to Wout Weghorst, but the ball fell to Rashford, who put it into the net. Scored many goals for United this was a debut goal that could not have been better for the Red Devils.

Despite the loss of Nabil Fekir, Real Betis will find the equalizing goal with the help of Ayoze Pérez, albeit in a controversial way. The ball hit Juanmi’s chest before appearing to hit his hand as he came to a stop, but as he then passed the ball to Pérez, who scored the goal, it didn’t go as a handball. But given the nature of the goal, it was the time that United showed a similar response to a team that appeared to have left at Anfield but didn’t.

Ten Hag made a familiar change at half-time, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka coming into the game in place of Diogo Dalot to provide a stronger defensive presence in the match, and this was due to racing for the Red Devils. Anthony scored a big goal thanks to his confidence, landing an unstoppable shot into the top corner before Fernandes headed Luke Shaw just six minutes later to extend the lead to 3-1 to United.

After a game in which the team did not respond to adversity, this was the time when United showed that it would be more of an upsurge than a fluctuation in their form that would continue. The lead would even allow ten Hag to have the luxury of giving Rashford an early rest before Weghorst scores a goal to give United a fourth goal.

With a score like this, United are well positioned to rest their players in the second leg, as even with three goals they will be in the last eight in the Europa League if they manage to score a goal.

The manager needs a lot of effort to ensure the team doesn’t turn a tough defeat into a spiral, but at Ten Hags United, the memories are short as they now focus on the game against Southampton at the weekend.

With one trophy under their belt, there are three more to play for, and in order to win them, they need to keep losses to a minimum. Psychological strength like that shown for Betis will be needed to continue this.


Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker