Ten Hag predicts exciting future for Man Utd attacker after Charlton display; issues bold cup statement
Erik ten Hag has praised winger Facundo Pellistri for his bright performance after Manchester United beat League One side Charlton Athletic 3-0 to book their place in the Carabao Cup semi-finals.
The Red Devils were hoping to continue their great form at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, having won their previous seven games in all competitions. And that is exactly what they did, brushing Charlton aside thanks to a Marcus Rashford brace and a fine strike from Antony.
The Brazilian winger put Man Utd in front in the 21st minute with a great curling effort from just outside the box, having received the ball from central midfielder Fred.
Charlton battled well and gave a good account of themselves on the night. Ultimately though, they could not deal with Man Utd’s firepower as Rashford scored twice late on.
Man Utd caught Charlton out on the counter attack in the 90th minute and this saw Pellistri play Rashford in. The England attacker managed to squeeze his finish into the bottom corner, despite Charlton goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer racing towards him.
Rashford secured his brace – and 15th goal of the campaign – a few minutes later. Casemiro picked him out with a great pass and he fired home to make it 3-0.
Man Utd will be eagerly watching tomorrow’s quarter-finals between Nottingham Forest and Wolves and Southampton and Manchester City to see who they might come up against. Newcastle are also in the draw after beating Leicester 2-0 at home.
During a post-match interview with BBC Sport reporter Simon Stone, Ten Hag discussed Pellistri. The youngster has had a slightly underwhelming time at Man Utd so far but impressed when he got his chance against Charlton.
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“I see a future in him,” Ten Hag declared. “He is doing really well, we will have to see the best thing. His progress is really good.”
When asked about the overall win, which was his 300th victory as a manager, Ten Hag said (via Football Daily): “Quite good, [I’m] quite happy with it. We started the game very well, good energy, good focus.
“We pinned them in their half, we created chances. Fred [had] big opportunities, [Alejandro] Garnacho was good in one-on-ones.
“We made a great goal, it was a team goal. The finishing from Antony was great.”
On about a potential Charlton equaliser, Ten Hag continued: “You never know. They put on a striker, they got more opportunities. We didn’t really allow them [chances].”
The Dutch coach then went on to praise Pellistri again, saying: “I think Pellistri came in, he was lively, had a good assist and then Rashford’s finishing. The 3-0 is a little bit over the top then but I think before we had the chances to finish this game early on.”
When asked how important it is for Man Utd to make the last four, Ten Hag made a bold cup statement by showing his desire to go all the way.
“The last four is nothing, it is only about winning,” he said. “You have to go from game to game and see what comes out of the draw. We [will] prepare well.
“Now we go to another league, the Premier League, so we leave this game behind and move forward.”
Meanwhile, Man Utd have come to a ‘full agreement’ as they look to bring in a new striker, according to Fabrizio Romano.