Erik ten Hag hails ‘fearless’ Alejandro Garnacho after Man United FA Cup heroics down West Ham
Erik ten Hag hailed the “fearless” Alejandro Garnacho after the youngster’s late strike sent Manchester United into the FA Cup quarter-finals with victory over West Ham.
United trailed to Said Benrahma’s second-half effort but equalised through a Nayef Aguerd own goal, before Garnacho’s 90th-minute curler put Ten Hag’s side ahead in the fifth-round tie.
Substitute Fred added a third in stoppage time after another Aguerd error, but it was teenage winger Garnacho who stole the show even before his goal with a performance that earned a standing ovation from the Old Trafford crowd when he was replaced in the dying seconds.
“It’s a great skill when you’re fearless, when you’re brave,” Ten Hag said. “That’s a skill that’s so specific, there are not so many players in world football that can take players on, go at players and just out-dribble them.
“But he has more skills than that - for example his finishing. And he has a big engine, he is fast but he can keep running for 90 minutes or 120 minutes.”
The comeback means United’s quest for a quadruple of sorts remains on course, following Sunday’s Carabao Cup final victory over Newcastle.
Ten Hag’s side now face Fulham in the last eight, while also having the Europa League last-16 to look forward to along with the more daunting task of trying to reel in Premier League leaders Arsenal.
“It was great,” Ten Hag added. “Once again the team showed personality, character, to never give up and turn around the game and score and win this game. It’s very important, very big, massive for our team and way of mentality.
“We showed that we can, that we have the character to deal with difficult situations, that the team stays composed and keeps going. It’s not only about 11 players. The bench can have an impact, they push each other and they believe they will win games.”