Erik ten Hag was in a feisty mood as he took on the press following Manchester United's FA Cup triumph, insisting he will win trophies anywhere he goes.

It was reported on Friday that United had made the decision to sack Ten Hag regardless of whether or not he managed to claim a shock FA Cup win over Manchester City.

Yet the Dutchman did just that at Wembley on Saturday, with first-half goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo enough to claim a 2-1 victory.

It is United's first FA Cup success since 2016. On that occasion, Ten Hag's compatriot, Louis van Gaal, was sacked after claiming the trophy.

And Ten Hag was in no mood to be criticised when he told reporters: "We have to keep going, and I'm not satisfied with it, we have to do better and if they don't want me anymore, then I go will somewhere else to win trophies, because that is what I did my whole career.

"That is what they always tell me."

The former Ajax coach subsequently cut short his press conference when it was put to him by a journalist that United, who finished eighth in the Premier League, were still way behind where they should be.

"Sorry to say this, but you don't have any knowledge about football, about managing a football team," Ten Hag said. "When you don't have the players available, then you can't perform, so simple as that.

"And if that is the opinion, it is no problem. Then I go anywhere else and I go and keep winning trophies."

Ten Hag, who waved to the Red Devils' fans at full-time, has now won two trophies with United, having taken them to an EFL Cup triumph last season.

City manager Pep Guardiola said United must now make a decision.

"They have to take a decision. He's a lovely person and an extraordinary manager," Guardiola said.

"Winning the FA Cup is important for them like last season it was for us."

Reflecting on City's loss, Guardiola said: "Disappointed today, it's normal teams can lose finals but this season has been extraordinary fighting for all the trophies in a good way.

"We will rest and come back next season."

Erik ten Hag admits he does not know whether or not he has managed Manchester United for the last time, after guiding the Red Devils to FA Cup glory.

The Dutchman led his team out against Manchester City in a repeat of last year's final with his job reportedly on the line, regardless of the result ahead of the final at Wembley.

Nevertheless, the Red Devils produced a spirited performance with first-half goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo eventually enough to secure a 2-1 win over their rivals.

It provided a happy ending to a difficult season for United, in which they recorded their lowest Premier League finish of eighth, but still managed to snatch European football for next term.

However, speculation and question marks continue to hang over the future of Ten Hag, who waved to United supporters during the team's lap of honour after collecting his second trophy in as many years at Old Trafford.

But the former Ajax head coach remains tight-lipped on what will happen next.

When asked if that was his last game in charge, he told BBC Sport. "I don't know. The only thing I can do is prepare my team, progress and develop my team and individual players.

"This is a project. When I came in, it was a mess. We are better, but we are by far not where we want to be.

"Football is about winning trophies. I want to play the best football. I want to play dynamic football, attacking football, but in the end, you have to win games and trophies. That is the mentality that we brought in.

"We only had one opportunity this season – that was the FA Cup. We did it. I'm so very proud of the players and staff, who did an incredible job."

Ten Hag could well suffer the same fate as compatriot Louis van Gaal, who was dismissed by the club after guiding them to FA Cup glory in 2016.

The 54-year-old stated his belief that he and the team had been unfairly treated by the media over the course of the campaign, during which he felt injuries to key players severely hampered his side's progress.

"I think so. The team, me as well – it was not right," he added. "We didn't have the players. It was not always good football, but we have had to make compromises all the time, then you can't play the football you want to play.

"I have been here two years, and we maybe had three, four times, the full squad [available]. Today, we had some massive players like Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Casemiro not on board.

"All the compliments to the team. They have played very well, to our identity. You can see when we have the players on board, how we can play to our philosophy. Some of them are not even fit, or match fit.
 
"I have said the whole year. When the players are fit, we can play good football and have a good performance against the best team in the world.
 
"Always, when you have a local rivalry, it's much more important when you play against the other team from the city. But for us, it was not about this, it was more to prove a point after such a tough year.

"With so many setbacks, the team showed so much resilience, and I'm very proud of them."

Pep Guardiola will not need to take extra motivation from Manchester City's FA Cup final loss to Manchester United.

City's hopes of retaining their FA Cup crown, and securing a double for the 2023-24 season, were dashed at Wembley on Saturday, as United ran out 2-1 winners.

Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo scored the goals as United stunned their neighbours, who had finished 31 points clear of the Red Devils in the Premier League.

Jeremy Doku pulled one back late on but City became the first holders of the FA Cup to finish as runners-up in the following campaign since United in 2004-05, but Guardiola refuted the suggestion that his rivals' triumph would serve as additional motivation for his squad ahead of next season.

Guardiola told BBC Sport: "We don't play to beat United, we play for ourselves."

City dominated possession against United, having 73.5 per cent of the ball, but Erik ten Hag's team had more shots on target (five to four) and accumulated a higher expected goals figure (1.5 to 1.3).

When asked if he thought United were the better side, though, Guardiola said: "No.

"The second half we were there. United are always a transition team, they have been for 10, 20, 30 years.

"[In the ] first half we struggled a bit but second half we were better. In general it was a good performance for a final."

Asked what he said to his players at full-time, Guardiola replied: "I congratulated all of them on another fantastic season.

"It went wrong. We lost the game – congratulations to United. It was a tight game, we conceded, but in the second half we changed our pace up front, we made a good effort.

"It can happen. Many things can happen – they scored two goals and we could not score more."

Erik ten Hag wants people to be patient with Kobbie Mainoo, despite the Manchester United youngster quickly developing into a star.

Mainoo's meteoric rise reached its highest peak yet as he netted in Saturday's FA Cup final against Manchester City, with his fine finish and Alejandro Garnacho's goal nine minutes prior ensuring United claimed a 2-1 victory over their rivals to lift the trophy.

Mainoo, aged just 19 years and 36 days, was the first English teenager to find the back of the net in an FA Cup final since 1981, while he is also the youngest to do so since John Sissons for West Ham in 1964.

Mainoo's cup final goal came in the same week he was named in Gareth Southgate's 33-man provisional squad for Euro 2024, and he looks a surefire bet to be on the plane to Germany next month.

Yet, Ten Hag believes people mustn't expect too much, too soon from the midfielder.

"I think we have to keep it calm," Ten Hag told the BBC. "You are very good here in England to push players and managers very high, and then you hammer them after one or two bad performances. I think we need to keep it very calm.

"He was [magnificent]. It was really so enjoyable to watch Kobbie at his age.

"But he's also an example [of problems]. We wanted to play him in the second game [of the season], but then he got a bad injury. It was a long time until he came back."

Erik ten Hag admits he does not know whether or not he has managed Manchester United for the last time, after guiding the Red Devils to FA Cup glory.

The Dutchman led his team out against Manchester City in a repeat of last year's final with his job reportedly on the line, regardless of the result ahead of the final at Wembley.

Nevertheless, the Red Devils produced a spirited performance with first-half goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo eventually enough to secure a 2-1 win over their rivals.

It provided a happy ending to a difficult season for United, in which they recorded their lowest Premier League finish of eighth, but still managed to snatch European football for next term.

However, speculation and question marks continue to hang over the future of Ten Hag, who waved to United supporters during the team's lap of honour after collecting his second trophy in as many years at Old Trafford.

But the former Ajax head coach remains tight-lipped on what will happen next.

When asked if that was his last game in charge, he told BBC Sport. "I don't know. The only thing I can do is prepare my team, progress and develop my team and individual players.

"This is a project. When I came in, it was a mess. We are better, but we are by far not where we want to be.

"Football is about winning trophies. I want to play the best football. I want to play dynamic football, attacking football, but in the end, you have to win games and trophies. That is the mentality that we brought in.

"We only had one opportunity this season – that was the FA Cup. We did it. I'm so very proud of the players and staff, who did an incredible job."

Ten Hag could well suffer the same fate as compatriot Louis van Gaal, who was dismissed by the club after guiding them to FA Cup glory in 2016.

The 54-year-old stated his belief that he and the team had been unfairly treated by the media over the course of the campaign, during which he felt injuries to key players severely hampered his side's progress.

"I think so. The team, me as well – it was not right," he added. "We didn't have the players. It was not always good football, but we have had to make compromises all the time, then you can't play the football you want to play.

"I have been here two years, and we maybe had three, four times, the full squad [available]. Today, we had some massive players like Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Casemiro not on board.

"All the compliments to the team. They have played very well, to our identity. You can see when we have the players on board, how we can play to our philosophy. Some of them are not even fit, or match fit.
 
"I have said the whole year. When the players are fit, we can play good football and have a good performance against the best team in the world.
 
"Always, when you have a local rivalry, it's much more important when you play against the other team from the city. But for us, it was not about this, it was more to prove a point after such a tough year.

"With so many setbacks, the team showed so much resilience, and I'm very proud of them."

Bruno Fernandes believes Erik ten Hag and Manchester United deserved to win the FA Cup after a challenging campaign.

Goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo gave United a 2-1 victory over Manchester City in Saturday's final at Wembley.

The cup victory comes amid strong reports that manager Ten Hag will be relieved of his duties in the near future following an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League.

But with Ten Hag potentially going out on a high, Fernandes feels Ten Hag and the club earned their opportunity to walk up the famous Wembley steps to lift the FA Cup.

"It is crucial for everyone," Fernandes told the BBC. "We know the manager is under so much scrutiny. He deserves this, also everyone in the backroom staff and the players, we all deserve this.

"It was the last chance to get something positive from the season. We were here last season and we weren't good enough, and we had to see them [City] go up and get the trophy.

"They have great quality, great players, a great manager. We had to sacrifice and suffer but we did great things. I try my best to help the team."

In scoring United's second, Mainoo (19 years and 36 days) became the first English teenager to net in an FA Cup final since Steve MacKenzie for City against Tottenham in 1981 (19y 172d) and the youngest to do so since John Sissons for West Ham against Preston North End in 1964 (18y 215d).

Fernandes hailed the impact of Mainoo, who earlier this week was named in Gareth Southgate's provisional 33-man England squad for the upcoming European Championships in Germany.

"Kobbie Mainoo is really good, such a quality player and you can see the composure he had with the finish," Fernandes continued.

"He came through the academy and once more on the biggest stage in the world he showed it again.

"Congratulations to everyone, the staff, the players and all the fans, they have given us a big push. Finally, we have something to celebrate."

Kobbie Mainoo lauded the togetherness demonstrated by Manchester United as they stunned rivals Manchester City 2-1 to claim the FA Cup.

Mainoo and fellow teenager Alejandro Garnacho were on target at Wembley to deny Pep Guardiola's side the double after they secured their record-breaking fourth successive Premier League title last weekend.

Although Erik ten Hag's job was reportedly on the line - regardless of the result - United defended brilliantly to largely keep City at bay, despite Jeremy Doku's late strike for the Citizens.

The Red Devils subsequently held out to end a disappointing season on a high, securing a place in the Europa League next term with their first FA Cup triumph since 2016.

And Mainoo, who was named in Gareth Southgate's provisional England squad for the forthcoming European Championship, saluted the efforts of United's players and staff.

"[It means] absolutely everything," he told BBC Sport. "It's been a tough season of ups and downs. All the fans had to look forward to was this final. Last year, I was in the stands watching. I couldn't be involved.

"We knew we had to come together. The staff and the players, the preparation has been amazing. We showed that we can compete, we can come together and win on such a big stage."

Garnacho also paid tribute to his team-mate, who became the first English teenager to score in an FA Cup final since Steve MacKenzie for City against Tottenham in 1981, while dedicating the victory to United's supporters.

"Just incredible; I say he's the best player in the squad, and he's the youngest. I'm so happy for him," the Argentine said of Mainoo.

"[It is an] incredible feeling. Nobody believed in us, but we are together, here with these fans. An incredible moment for us, also for me and Kobbie to score the goals, but all together, we fought like it was the last day of our lives. We're so happy.

"The fans were incredible. They're always there – home games, away games, now Wembley. We won for the fans."

Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo were the heroes as Manchester United pulled off an upset to beat rivals Manchester City 2-1 in the FA Cup final.

United boss Erik ten Hag's job was reportedly on the line whatever the result in Saturday's game, but a mix-up between Josko Gvardiol and Stefan Ortega was capitalised upon by Garnacho to hand the Red Devils the lead at Wembley Stadium.

Mainoo's fine finish made it 2-0 shortly after, and though Jeremy Doku pulled a goal back late on, United held firm to claim the famous trophy for the first time since 2016 and deny City a double after they secured a fourth straight Premier League title last weekend.

It now remains to be seen whether Ten Hag will suffer the same fate as compatriot Louis van Gaal, who was sacked as United boss after winning the FA Cup eight years ago.

Pep Guardiola's men started the brighter, though it was United who went close first as Ortega got his body behind Garnacho's fierce strike.

Garnacho was not to be denied with 30 minutes on the clock, though, as he pounced on a calamitous mix-up in the City defence.

A long ball over the top was not dealt with by either Ortega or Gvardiol, who inadvertently nodded it beyond his goalkeeper, allowing Garnacho to tuck home into an empty net, becoming the first teenager to score an FA Cup final goal since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2004.

And another teenager in Mainoo made it 2-0 before the break at the culmination a brilliantly incisive move.

Garnacho was involved again as he burst down the right and cut back for Bruno Fernandes, whose deft pass teed up 19-year-old Mainoo to coolly slot past Ortega.

Erling Haaland nearly halved the deficit when he rattled the crossbar after the interval, before Andre Onana made a superb stop to keep out Kyle Walker's ferocious long-range drive.

Onana should have done better in the 87th minute, though. United's goalkeeper got down to Doku's hopeful attempt, but could only parry it into the corner.

Yet United ensured Onana's mistake did not prove costly, as City's hopes of a double were dashed and the Red Devils claimed a stunning victory in what could have been Ten Hag's final game at the helm.

United's teenage daydream

United went into the game as outsiders, a fair view considering the 31 points that separated these city rivals in the Premier League table, but the Red Devils' youngsters turned up in some style at Wembley to lead their side to glory, as well as securing European football next season.

Garnacho scored with one of his three shots on target, more than any other player on the pitch, while Mainoo's performance did no harm to his chances of making Gareth Southgate's final squad for Euro 2024, ruthlessly finishing his only big chance and again having an impact in both defence and attack.

Mainoo's goal also made him the first English teenager to net in an FA Cup final since Steve MacKenzie for City against Tottenham in 1981, and he looks set to be a big fixture for both United and England for many years to come.

De Bruyne's dismal derby day

Kevin De Bruyne finished the Premier League season with 10 assists and four goals in just 18 appearances, but he, alongside many of City's stars, looked well off the pace here.

De Bruyne completed an uncharacteristically low 71 per cent of his passes before Guardiola had seen enough, hauling off the Belgium international for Julian Alvarez with over half an hour left.

City ended their league campaign with nine straight wins to seal the title, but they looked a shadow of that side this time out and will finish the season with just one trophy, after claiming a treble last term.

Doku did make an impact after his half-time introduction, but though he managed to cut into United's lead, it was too little, too late.

Manchester United's Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo have become the first teenagers to score in an FA Cup final since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2004.

In the first half of Saturday's FA Cup final against Manchester City, 19-year-old Garnacho capitalised on a mix-up between Stefan Ortega and Josko Gvardiol to become the first teenager to net in the competition's showpiece match since Ronaldo did against Millwall in 2004, also for the Red Devils.

Garnacho's goal made him the third teenager to score for United in an FA Cup final after Ronaldo 20 years ago and Norman Whiteside back in 1983.

Then, just nine minutes later, a brilliant United move ended with Bruno Fernandes laying Garnacho's pass into Mainoo, who coolly finished to double United's lead at just 19-years-old.

Mainoo's finish means United hold a 2-0 lead at half-time against the Premier League champions, while it's also the first men's FA Cup final to see two different teenagers net. Aged just 19 years and 36 days, Mainoo is the youngest English goalscorer in the game since John Sissons for West Ham in 1964.

Mainoo is also the first English teenager to score in an FA Cup final since Steve MacKenzie for City against Tottenham in 1981.

Erik ten Hag claims Manchester United will have over-achieved if they win the FA Cup this season.

Ten Hag and his team have faced criticism after edging past Championship side Coventry on penalties in the semi-finals, having been 3-0 up with 20 minutes to go.

They will take on Manchester City in a repeat of last year’s final hoping to exact revenge and, despite their league struggles, Ten Hag was bullish about what that would mean.

United could miss out on European football altogether, but the Red Devils boss believes the club’s struggles with injury this campaign are a major mitigating factor.

“I would say it’s over-performing with all the problems we have had,” said the Dutchman of the possibility of silverware.

“Getting into the final is already a big achievement, but we are here for trophies. We have an opportunity to win a trophy and that is good. But we are not satisfied by being in the final, we want to win it and that is what we will go for and it’s our mentality.

“That is why we are successful. That’s why I am successful over 10 years as a manager, I always bring out the maximum of each squad.”

Ten Hag was in a combative mood in the press room ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League clash with Sheffield United, branding the media reaction to his side’s cup display “embarrassing” and “a disgrace”.

Many fans were also critical and Ten Hag added of the late collapse: “We were not happy with it. I can see the fans are not happy with it as well, but they get fed by opinions.

“But all over, what I heard is that the fans are very happy we are again in the FA Cup final. Even for Manchester United, it is not business as usual, they were not so often in the FA Cup final and they were never in the FA Cup final two times in a row.”

United’s injury problems continued on Sunday, with Alejandro Garnacho, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay all picking up issues, and the latter two are doubtful for Wednesday.

Casemiro could again be required in defence, while United’s bench at the weekend featured five teenagers.

“We will put a team out that is capable of winning the match, even if we have to be really creative,” said Ten Hag.

One of the players who will be hoping for a start is 21-year-old Amad Diallo, who has featured five times as a substitute over the past couple of months.

“Amad deserves it, but don’t forget he had a long period in the season injured, so we rebuilt him and now he has had some opportunities and a real contribution,” said Ten Hag.

“He played in a position that is not his best position. He started as a striker and then he had to play in the midfield, so he did well. We have a number of players in that area, there is big competition.

“But I am very happy with his performances and his progress, I see his qualities and his assets can really contribute to our game.”

Manchester United’s Alejandro Garnacho has been spoken to by Erik ten Hag after the winger liked social media posts criticising the manager’s handling of the player.

The Argentinian, taken off at half-time of their 2-2 draw at Bournemouth, liked two messages on X, formerly Twitter, by YouTuber Mark Goldbridge.

One read: “Ten Hag subtly blaming Garnacho in the post match press conference… not a good look throwing a 19 year old under the bus who has actually delivered for you this season. But then again he’s clearly scared of upsetting the bigger earners.”

The other said Garnacho “had a poor first half but taking him off at half time and holding him up as the problem is a joke”.

Garnacho swiftly ‘unliked’ both messages – an action the club believes shows contrition – and a United source told the PA news agency the matter had been dealt with internally.

In September Jadon Sancho’s post on X, saying he had been made a “scapegoat” and “I will not allow people saying things that (are) completely untrue” – interpreted as accusing Ten Hag of misrepresenting reasons why the winger was not in the side – led to the 24-year-old being banished from the first team before being loaned to Borussia Dortmund in January.

Cole Palmer scored a sensational hat-trick as Chelsea struck twice in the final minutes of stoppage time to beat Manchester United 4-3 at Stamford Bridge.

United were 3-2 up and seemingly home and dry when Noni Madueke was felled by Diogo Dalot in the seventh minute of added time. Palmer scored from the penalty spot to seemingly rescue a point – but a stunning finale awaited.

The former Manchester City player – a United fan as a youngster – was given space inside the box and lashed it beyond Andre Onana with virtually the final kick, with the aid of a slight deflection off United’s Scott McTominay.

Their side had looked like running away with the Premier League contest in the first period, Conor Gallagher and Palmer from the penalty spot putting them into a 2-0 lead inside 20 minutes.

But a horrendous error from Moises Caicedo gifted United a way back, Alejandro Garnacho netting his first before Bruno Fernandes nodded unmarked past Djordje Petrovic to level before the break.

A breathless second half could have seen either side win it, and Garnacho looked to have done it for United when he headed in a brilliant cross from Antony midway through the half.

Then came scarcely believable drama at the end, with Palmer’s double sparking joyous scenes among home supporters.

Chelsea had looked irresistible for much of the first half and raced into a deserved lead.

First, Enzo Fernandez scooped a delicious ball into the right channel for the overlapping Malo Gusto. His low cutback pinged off the heel of Raphael Varane, spinning favourably into the path of Gallagher whose first-time drive slithered beneath Onana’s outstretched hand and into the net.

The second goal came from a similarly neat move down the other flank, this time Marc Cucurella feeding Mykhailo Mudryk who bolted onto it and flicked the ball back inside to Cucurella. Across to challenge came Antony, felling the Chelsea defender with an artless trip. Palmer dinked his penalty into the bottom corner with consummate ease.

United struggled with the pace and directness of Chelsea’s transitions but the hosts’ control of the game was punctured on 34 minutes.

Caicedo sensed Antony lurking on his shoulder and played a hurried, careless ball square that sold Benoit Badiashile short. Garnacho was onto it like a flash, tearing clear of the hapless Chelsea pair and slotting past Petrovic.

Onana pushed out Fernandez’s low hit and had to be bailed out by Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who shovelled the rebound away from Mykhailo Mudryk as Chelsea quickly resumed their assault.

But the goal had swung the game towards United and they were soon level. Antony swept the ball wide to Garnacho, who stood up Cucurella and knocked it back for Diogo Dalot. His cross whizzed across the box to Fernandes, arriving unmarked at the far post, to wipe out Chelsea’s lead.

Gallagher rattled the post when set up by Palmer late in the half, though they were clearly stunned by United’s rapid double and looked grateful to go in level at the break.

The second half was a gung-ho battle between defence and attack. At times, the midfield simply vanished as both sides ripped into each other, and by the hour mark either could have led, Fernandes and Palmer with the clearest chances lashed over as the game hummed with energy, coaxing a winner.

It looked to have arrived from Garnacho. Antony’s cross, whipped with the outside of his left boot, was elegant and pinpoint. Chelsea had two defenders back but neither tracked the run of Garnacho, who stooped bravely to reach the ball before Petrovic and guide it into the corner. The United fans, including new Kansas City Chiefs recruit Louis Rees-Zammit, were delighted.

It looked like staying that way until the final minute of stoppage time, when Palmer’s dramatic double sealed an astonishing turnaround.

Erik ten Hag says he does not care about speculation regarding his future as Manchester United manager.

A promising first season saw Carabao Cup glory followed by finishing third in the Premier League and runners-up in the FA Cup, but things have gone off track this term.

United face a fight for Champions League qualification as the campaign enters the final straight, with the stunning 4-3 FA Cup quarter-final extra-time win against rivals Liverpool breathing new life into the team.

A Wembley semi against Coventry is the reward but that result did not stop talk about Ten Hag’s future during the international break as ambitious Ineos consider their options.

England boss Gareth Southgate was linked to the United job but said such talk was “completely disrespectful”, although the Dutchman appears unmoved.

“You know when you are working at Man United there will always be noise, rumours around the club, the manager, the players, whatever,” Ten Hag said.

“There will always (an) issue – you like it, to talk about. Of course we have different interests, but we are not focusing on that.

“We are focusing on the process, we are focusing on the team to play better, to improve the way of play, so I don’t care about (it).”

Ten Hag came through intense pressure in the early stages of his time at United.

Having lost to Brighton in his first match after joining from Ajax, the Red Devils went on to suffer a chastening 4-0 away defeat to Brentford.

Ahead of returning to the Gtech Community Stadium for the first time since, Ten Hag said of the outside noise: “I was trainer at Ajax. Similar.

“You get used to it, so we don’t care. Players don’t care, I don’t care. We are together in the boat and we know we have to perform and get the right results.”

Before the recent Liverpool win, one of the only positives in a forgettable season was the development of youngsters like Alejandro Garnacho, Rasmus Hojlund and Kobbie Mainoo.

The latter was named man of the match on his full England debut against Belgium on Tuesday, just four months after making his first Premier League start.

Ten Hag had planned Mainoo’s opportunity to come far sooner, only for the midfielder to sustain ankle ligament damage in July’s pre-season friendly against Real Madrid.

“It was the plan, it was the intention,” the Dutchman said. “We thought he was capable of adjusting very quickly to high levels, so we had to delay that moment but for him and for us it’s good.

“Later in the season he proved that he can contribute highly to our team.

“We are happy we have a player like him who can really contribute and make us play the way we want to play.”

Ten Hag is hoping Mainoo is available to face Brentford having reported sick on Thursday.

“(Thursday) he skipped the training because he was ill,” he said.

“I don’t know (about Brentford) but of course we hope. (Friday) he is there, not fully recovered but we have still many hours I would say as we have a kick-off at 8pm.”

Mainoo’s performances have bolstered his chances of making England’s Euro 2024 squad but team-mate Marcus Rashford’s position looks more precarious.

“Of course he knows there is a lot of competition in his position,” Ten Hag said.

“And of course he will have a lot of credit because he contributes so many times fantastically for England and for us.

“Of course, he wants to be there but also he wants to win with us. He is in a position to win a trophy and he wants to be in the Champions League.

“Absolutely he wants to contribute and he wants to perform.”

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag hailed the defensive discipline of his team despite them once again conceding more than 20 shots in their 2-0 Premier League victory over Everton.

James Tarkowski hacked down Alejandro Garnacho  inside the box 12 minutes in and Bruno Fernandes tucked into the right corner from the resulting spot kick to put United 1-0 to the good.

Garnacho won another penalty in the 34th minute after Ben Godfrey flew in on the Argentinian and this time Fernandes handed the ball to Marcus Rashford who sent Jordan Pickford the wrong way for his seventh goal of the season.

Everton continued to press in the second period but their 23 shots were in vein as United bounced back from two defeats on the spin.

Manchester City had 27 shots at their goal while winning the derby last week, but after allowing a number of chances again today, ten Hag said: “If you see their xG is not that high and ours is much higher.

“It is their gameplan, obviously. We have players who feel comfortable to defend low. But you have to be disciplined and you have to incorporate it very well.

“It was a team performance, especially our back four with the keeper and Casemiro. They have done very well.

“You see the chances, they had some, also I think the way we defended set-plays was very good.

“We were really organised and we were focused – everyone did their job. There was one or two second phases where they we had some opportunities, but all over we did quite well.”

Garnacho went over in the box to win both penalties and was by far United’s best player in another sub-par performance at Old Trafford.

Boss ten Hag expressed his joy of working with the Argentinian but knows there are still vast areas to improve.

He added: “I love to work with Garnacho and many other players in the squad but he is a player who likes a challenge. Brave, confident and our job is to push him to high level but he is doing this. He has high potential.

“When you are young you don’t know what it is to play in a high competitive league and perform every third day.

“You don’t know you have to perform every training session. You need a lot of skills to be the best.”

Everton’s woes in front of goal continued despite their best efforts, including good chances from Abdoulaye Doucoure, Amadou Onana and Dwight McNeil.

The Toffees have scored just 14 open play goals this season and boss Sean Dyche knows his side have to find confidence in front of goal.

He said: “Very frustrating, as you can imagine and we have had a run of that where we have been performing correctly in so many ways.

“The most important thing is the scoreline, that’s the biggest stat and we’ve got on the wrong side of it, we have to work on it.

“I don’t know what teams have come here and had that many efforts on goal and chances but we’ve got to get hurt to score goals as sometimes Brian Clough used to say. That’s what I’m not seeing.

“They are working, the shape is good, the football played is pleasing and so it’s frustrating to not see that come to fruition with scoring more goals because they’re doing a lot right.”

Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford struck from the spot as sloppy Manchester United rode their luck in an unconvincing 2-0 win against relegation-threatened Everton.

Erik ten Hag’s side stuttered on Saturday lunchtime but managed to end a run of back-to-back Premier League defeats and keep their Champions League qualification quest alive.

United struggled for large periods against out-of-form Everton, who had 23 shots but paid the price for twice shooting themselves in the foot in the first half.

James Tarkowski clumsily brought down Alejandro Garnacho after a bright Toffees start, with captain Fernandes converting the resulting spot-kick in front of the Stretford End.

Sean Dyche’s men settled and continued to threaten, only to be punished by a Rashford penalty after Ben Godfrey fouled lively Argentina international Garnacho.

United continued to offer Everton a way back into the match but they failed to capitalise – something you would not expect Liverpool to struggle with in next weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final.

The Toffees began this topsy-turvy encounter on top, but the sleepy hosts still managed a couple of efforts before taking a 12th minute lead at Old Trafford.

Tarkowski caught Garnacho as he cut back and, after a swift VAR check, Fernandes’ hit a spot-kick just out of Jordan Pickford’s reach into the bottom right-hand corner.

Dwight McNeil volleyed narrowly wide as Everton looked to put that disappointment behind them, with United academy graduate James Garner testing Andre Onana before Amadou Onana mishit the follow-up.

McNeil lasered across the face of goal as Everton continued to prove a nuisance, although that effort came shortly after Pickford stopped Fernandes scoring his second.

The United skipper took aim with a 22 yard free-kick that was heading home in front of the Stretford End until a one-handed stop that drew applause around the ground.

But Pickford can only do so much, and Everton were soon made to rue their missed opportunities.

Godfrey’s clumsy attempt to halt Garnacho drive led referee Simon Hooper to point to the spot, with Rashford stepping up to send his England team-mate the wrong way.

Everton were perhaps fortunate not to concede a third penalty before half-time after Vitalii Mykolenko stopped a Garnacho a cutback with an arm.

United, too, walked a fine line in the closing stages of the first half, with Jonny Evans coughing up possession and McNeil seeing a strike blocked.

Play continued in a similarly open, chaotic pattern after the break.

Abdoulaye Doucoure was denied by Andre Onana at his near post in-between Garnacho lashing narrowly over and just failing to cleanly meet a teasing Fernandes cross.

The United skipper saw a low shot tipped around the post by Pickford, who did well to stop United stabbing home during a melee from the corner that followed.

Andre Onana had to deal with pinball in his own box soon after and United just avoided an Everton goal in the 76th minute.

Godfrey’s header was met by a Lewis Dobbin cross-shot that just evaded fellow substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin at the far post.

Everton continued to knock at the door and United tried to expose the gaps they were leaving, but neither side had the quality to add to the scoreline.

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