Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag was impressed with the second-half performances of Antony and Alejandro Garnacho against Barcelona in the Europa League.
The Red Devils progressed to the last 16 of the competition with a terrific 2-1 comeback win (4-3 across both legs) over the Blaugrana at Old Trafford yesterday.
Robert Lewandowski put the visitors ahead in the 18th minute with a cheap penalty, but United responded terrifically. Fred equalised just after the interval.
Barring one world-class save from David de Gea, United were in the ascendency in the second half and they eventually took the lead through Antony in the 73rd minute.
Barcelona blocked shots from Alejandro Garnacho and Fred in quick succession, but the rebound fell into the path of Antony on the right flank, who capitalised on his chance.
It was definitely a moment of redemption for the summer signing, who has had a tough couple of months in the United shirt, having made a fantastic start to his career early on.
Antony had not played any competitive football for the past two weeks with a leg injury but he showed no signs of rustiness and looked like the player from his Ajax days.
The Brazilian was up for the challenge with several intelligent runs behind the Blaugrana defence. With better composure, he could have also grabbed an assist yesterday.
Meanwhile, Garnacho produced another lively display on the left wing. He came on for Jadon Sancho shortly after the hour mark and played a key part in the winner.
The Argentine starlet caught the eye with his direct running multiple times. He certainly offered more than Sancho and will be eyeing a start in the Carabao Cup final.
Speaking after the game, Ten Hag was delighted with the duo’s performance. He said that Antony and Garnacho are so brave and they dare and don’t fear anyone.
He told Manutd.com: “It is one part of my game-plan. We know that if we can bring Antony on, we can bring Alejandro Garnacho on, in the right areas you get speed, runs in behind, you get dribbles, and you get belief.”
“They are both so brave. They dare, they don’t fear anyone, and, especially when you go to Stretford End, and they take players on, run in behind, it gives a boost to the whole team.”
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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