Four Man Utd players prove Erik ten Hag right in Real Betis win to banish Liverpool woes | Football | Sport
Home » Matches » Four Man Utd players prove Erik ten Hag right in Real Betis win to banish Liverpool woes | Football | Sport
Four Man Utd players prove Erik ten Hag right in Real Betis win to banish Liverpool woes | Football | Sport

Manchester United bounced back from their Liverpool humilation in perfect fashion after recording a 4-1 victory over Real Betis at on Thursday night. The Red Devils had been annihilated 7-0 at Anfield on Sunday by Liverpool but, in snowy conditions at Old Trafford. Erik ten Hag's side proved a point with a deserved win that takes them closer to reaching the Europa League quarter-finals.

In a show of faith, Ten Hag stuck to his guns and named an unchanged lineup from the team that were humiliated by Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, giving them an opportunity to right some wrongs in front of angry United fans. And they got off to the perfect start when Marcus Rashford home scored after six minutes.

However, United found themselves engaged in an end-to-end contest as Betis responded to going behind and it was former Leicester striker Ayoze Perez who slammed home a brilliant equaliser after the half-hour mark. Some signs of a lack of mental fragility appeared as United struggled to withstand Betis' attacking moves and they were fortunate not to go behind when Juanmi's deflected effort came back off the post.

But the hosts came out in the second half all guns blazing with Antony, Bruno Fernandes and Wout Weghorst all getting on the scoresheet to provide some respite for Ten Hag as the Red Devils coasted towards victory. Express Sport looks at which four stars in particular shone for United.

Bruno Fernandes

Ten Hag decided to ignore advice from pundits across the media who labelled the Portuguese playmaker's conduct against Liverpool as unacceptable and called on him to strip him of the vice-captaincy. But if Fernandes was out of line on Sunday, he brought himself back into the good books with an influential performance.

The 28-year-old was moved back into the central No 10 role behind Wout Weghorst and he looked much more comfortable than wide on the right. He had a part to play in both Rashford and Antony's goals and then grabbed one for himself with a bullet header - and the passion shone through as he celebrated with the fans.

At times, the midfielder can be scapegoated when things go wrong due to his antics and tendency to blame others. But it is only right that when he flourishes with a goal and two assists, his display is rightly commended - and Ten Hag will be delighted with how he responded after trusting him to put his troubles behind him.

Marcus Rashford

For one of the most potent attackers in Europe right now, the frustration showed on Rashford's face as he failed to find the net on Sunday afternoon. But the forward managed to channel his despair into something tangible after opening the scoring.

When Bruno Fernandes' attempted cross deflectd into his path, the Rashford of old might have hit it first time. But the 25-year-old had the intelligence to recognise that he had the time and space to set himself before lashing home beyond Claudio Bravo to hand United a morale-boosting lead.

That goal certainly lifted the mood inside Old Trafford and, even when United were pegged back, Rashford never wavered in his attempts to get them back in front. When United secured the two-goal cushion, Ten Hag had the foresight to bring him off - knowing that Rashford holds the key to their push for more silverware this season.


The Brazilian was one of those chastised for walking around the pitch at Anfield, but back at his new home, the winger looked fired up and responded with a fine goal to remind his critics of his talents.

The £85m signing has endured a difficult start to life as a United player, with his price tag adding some pressure onto his young shoulders. And there are certainly some areas for improvement as it showed when he could have squared the ball to Weghorst for a tap-in, instead chipping over the bar.

But Ten Hag will be glad he found the target and scored the goal that United desperately needed to ensure this tie didn't go the wrong way after a similar scenario played out on Merseyside only five days ago.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Ten Hag made the decision to bring off Diogo Dalot at half-time after a shoddy first-half display from the full-back and brought on Wan-Bissaka, who looked like he had a point to prove. 

The right-back came on and produced a tireless display down the right as he combined with Antony, pushing back Juanmi and Abner on the Betis left. Because of that, United were able to produce wave after wave of attacking moves, which eventually ended with Antony and Fernandes putting daylight between the two teams.

The former Crystal Palace defender has had to showcase his ability to Ten Hag in several occasions this season to prove he deserves a starting spot and his 45-minute cameo was another reminder of how useful he can be.

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