No sooner had Manchester United sealed a third-place Premier League finish in Erik ten Hag’s debut campaign than the Dutchman was already focussed on the next fixture.
Fred created both goals for Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes as Manchester United recovered from an early deficit to end the league season with a 2-1 win at Old Trafford over Fulham on Sunday.
However, the Red Devils have the small matter of an FA Cup final against arch-rivals and reigning Premier League champions Manchester City next Saturday.
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Ten Hag strolled onto the Old Trafford turf at the end of United’s final three points of the season with a microphone in hand. “I want to thank you all,” he told those in the crowd that had hung back on a balmy early summer afternoon.
“We felt a really strong bond throughout the season at Old Trafford and also away,” Ten Hag continued. United’s only Premier League home defeat of the entire league campaign was in the first of game of the term – a 2-1 loss against a Brighton side still under the management of Graham Potter.
However, Ten Hag didn’t linger over the positives, quickly shifting his piercing gaze towards 3 June. “We have one game left,” he told the Theatre of Dreams, as quoted by The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell. “I am sure we have a very good chance to bring the cup back here. We will do everything we can.”
United have numerous reasons to do everything they can to win the FA Cup next Saturday. Alongside the obvious boon of claiming a second piece of silverware this season – after hoisting aloft the Carabao Cup in February – there is the added bonus of scuppering City’s quest to win the European treble.
Sir Alex Ferguson led Manchester United to the unique triptych of triumph by winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in 1999. No English side has ever achieved the feat before or since and many on the red half of Manchester are fearful of falling in City’s wake in their bid to replicate the feat this year.
On this week’s edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders is joined by Toby Cudworth and Graeme Bailey to discuss all the latest transfer news. On the agenda: Tottenham’s pursuit of Feyenoord manager Arne Slot, Bayern Munich’s interest in Declan Rice, Joshua Kimmich, Neymar & more!
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