Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag praised the mental strength of his team to rescue a point against Chelsea by scoring a stoppage time equaliser at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.
It seemed to mark the turning of a corner for a United side that was often heavily criticised last season for losing confidence and dropping their heads in the face of setbacks.
United had been the better of the two teams in the first half without making the most of it. Chelsea came more into the contest after the break and benefitted from a moment of madness from substitute Scott McTominay when he put his hands all over Armando Broja at a late corner.
Jorginho converted the resultant spot-kick, sending David de Gea the wrong and giving Chelsea a perhaps unlikely lead with only three minutes left on the clock.
But where United might previously have given up the fight, this Ten Hag team kept going and were rewarded when a towering Casemiro header crept over the line after initially hitting the post.
Ten Hag was pleased with the comeback, but also the fact that it has come during a really busy period when players have barely had time to breathe between games.
“I have to make a big compliment to my team. To fight back with a fourth game in 10 days, you see the spirit and how they deal with setbacks. Really good,” the Dutchman told BBC Sport.
Ten Hag went on to call it a ‘fair result’, but detailed United’s superior chances to score.
“First half, [Marcus] Rashford had two big chances, Antony one against one. You have to score goals in such moments because in top games three chances is massive. You have to score. We dictated the game and I am happy with that. If you concede a goal late it is difficult,” he said.
“Eight minutes before half time we had some troubles but defence in the second half we didn’t have troubles. The second half we didn’t really create big chances, but also Chelsea didn’t.
“I think it is a fair result. I would have been disappointed if we had gone without a point because we didn’t deserve that. At the end of a tough week to come here, you bring the point home.”
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