Erik ten Hag: Manchester United Boss Reveals Half Time Talk That Inspired Barcelona Comeback

Erik ten Hag: Manchester United Boss Reveals Half Time Talk That Inspired Barcelona Comeback

Martin Moses
February 24, 2023 at 11:38 AM
  • Erik ten Hag showed his tactical nous as Manchester United eliminated Barcelona from the Europa League
  • His decision to introduce Antony in the second half for the off-colour Wout Weghorst worked wonders
  • The Dutch tactician has also revealed what he told his players during the half-time break of the important tie

Erik ten Hag has lifted the lid on his half-time speech that lifted Manchester United to victory against Barcelona on Thursday night.

The Dutch manager masterminded arguably the biggest night of his Man United career as they dumped the Spanish giants out to progress to the next stage of the Europa League.

Erik ten Hag, Manchester United, Barcelona, Europa League, Old Trafford
Erik ten Hag gestures during Manchester United's game against Barcelona on February 23. Photo by Oli Scarff.
Source: Getty Images

The Red Devils competed evenly and showed class across the two legs to signify the strongest indications of a return to glory days in the likes of the great Sir Alex Ferguson.

They went behind to a Robert Lewandowski penalty in the first half but came out for the second half raging, with Fred restoring parity a few minutes later. Antony, a half-time substitute, sealed the win with a wonderful volley.

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Ten Hag on team talk

So, what changed for United in the second half? Speaking after the win, ten Hag said he emphasised the use of the extra players his side had when pressing.

"I emphasised the belief. It was too flat first half. We had our spare man, Casemiro, we didn’t use him enough. Aaron Wan-Bissaka had a lot of space on the right side. We didn’t use it enough," he said as quoted by Sportskeeda.

He also hailed Antony's introduction, who was making a comeback after missing a few games through injury.

"The other thing was to make the sub with Antony, who brought more speed in the play and who brings belief on the pitch."

United will now shift their focus to the Carabao Cup final on Sunday against Newcastle.

Casemiro's reaction shocks fans

Sports Brief has also reported that Man United midfielder, Casemiro shocked fans recently by avoiding a scrap between his teammates and Barcelona players.

The Brazilian is known for never backing away from confrontation in football matches and is usually on hand to defend his teammates if the need arises.

Not on Thursday though, as the 31-year-old played it safe with his on-pitch behaviour against the Catalan giants in the second leg of the Europa League playoffs.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)
Erik Ten HaagUEFA Europa League