Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag offered a blunt response to BT Sport’s question after his side were made to wait until stoppage time to score their only goal in the 1-0 win over Omonia in the Europa League. Scott McTominay came off the bench to score late on after the side from Cyprus saw their goalkeeper make 11 saves before McTominay’s strike.
When asked if the victory was the most important point of the game, the Dutch boss was clear in his response. “No,” Ten Hag replied. He continued: “Football is about scoring goals and we created so many chances but the ball hit the net only one time, but it was enough for the win and we are happy with that.
“They did [be clinical] that’s why they scored, I have to give the team a compliment to keep patient, keep coming in the right positions, keep creating chances, didn’t allow the opponent to come out so I think we did well, only one thing and it’s about football.
“You have to score and they did two less, I think this game had to have been three or four-nil. I know how football is, we scored already so many goals. In every game I have the faith that we will continue, so I am not concerned about this.”
“I hope that we save the goals for next week. We said at half-time we need to keep the focus. When you play against a defensively compact opponent and you don’t score, you get impatient. You can get sloppy and lose you the ball and then they break. I have a preference to score more and earlier because it makes it easier. We still have two games to go and we go game to game.”
Matchwinner McTominay explained that his side had to be patient as they had over 30 shots before his winning strike. “We knew we needed the win tonight but that they’d be fired up too,” McTominay told BT Sport. “Neil Lennon is a great coach and no games like this are ever easy. Everyone is pleased with the result.
“You have to be patient sometimes. [Marcus] Rashford had so many chances and we did everything but score. Their goalkeeper was a different class but we created enough chances and deserved to score in the end.
“I wasn’t on the pitch for the majority of the game but sometimes you think it’s not going to be your day. The team spirit is good though and no one ever gives up. It’s a massive goal because we need to win the group.”
The result keeps United second in their group, behind Real Sociedad in top spot. Ten Hag’s side will hope to leapfrog the Spanish side as the teams that finish second face the third-placed sides that come down from the Champions League in the first knock-out stage, while group winners go through automatically to the round of 16.