Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag reveals his discussions with Alejandro Garnacho

Alejandro Garnacho missed two presentable chances at home to Leeds, was dropped for the reverse fixture, came on, and scored to clinch a 2-0 win for Man United.

In between his contrasting performances against Leeds United, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag spoke with Alejandro Garnacho.

Garnacho squandered two good chances with United trailing 1-0 at Old Trafford on Wednesday and was replaced when Leeds led 2-0 in the second half.

Ten Hag gave Garnacho a public pep talk in midweek, then replaced him with Jadon Sancho in the rematch against Leeds, but brought him back on the hour mark.

The 18-year-old came off the bench to seal United’s 2-0 win at Elland Road on Sunday with his first goal since the stoppage-time winner at Fulham on November 13.

“Definitely (the perfect response), I had some talks with him about that and that is about taking responsibility,” Ten Hag said. “He had those chances but he was in the right position, the team brings him the ball.

“But also his investment – I don’t want to look away from that – but once he is there on our level you have to score the goal then. Okay, not every change can be a goal but of two, one has to be in. That is taking responsibility.”

Harry Maguire started in only his third Premier League game since United’s seasonal nadir at Brentford on August 13 but the club captain is likely to drop back down to the bench for the Europa League play-off first leg in Barcelona on Thursday.

Ten Hag took umbrage with the suggestion Maguire had “returned” to the starting XI for the first time in 15 days. “Return is the wrong remark because he played against Reading and he played against Bournemouth and Harry will continue playing many games.

“We need that because we are the only team in Europe playing in four competitions.”

United’s win at Leeds was marred by tragedy chanting about the Munich air disaster and two Leeds fans killed in Istanbul. Both clubs condemned the chanting in a joint statement but Ten Hag was seemingly oblivious to the bilious nature of the songs aired.

“Football is the big winner from those two games, and I think everyone in north England will be proud,” Ten Hag said of the matches between United and Leeds.

“I didn’t sense any hostility. I thought it had a great atmosphere, a great atmosphere. In a rivalry like this, it has to be. We had a great time.”


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