UEL 2022-23: 'Ronaldo needed that goal' - Erik ten Hag as Man United sees past FC Sherrif
Manchester United secured its first UEFA Europa League win of the season, winning 2-0 away to FC Sheriff on Thursday. Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo were the scorers, while Erik ten Hag backed the latter's vital goal.
It was a successful day out for English giants Manchester United, as it trumped 2-0 over FC Sheriff away from home on Thursday during its second group stage game of the 2022-23 UEFA Europa League (UEL). With this success, the visitors have climbed to second place in their group table, while Spanish giants Real Sociedad is at the top. As for the scorers in this tie, Jadon Sancho opened the proceedings in the 17th minute with an assist from Christian Eriksen before Portuguese sensation Cristiano Ronaldo doubled it in the 39th through a penalty. While it happened to be the latter's maiden goal for the club of the season, head coach Erik ten Hag termed it a vital one for the Portuguese.
Talking to United's media after the game, ten Hag affirmed, "He [Ronaldo] needed that goal. He was close many times, but you always see he wanted that so much. We're happy for him, and the team wanted him to bring that goal. We could expect this when you miss pre-season. He has to work hard and invest in getting the right fitness. He will score more goals. He's close. He will score more when he gets more fitness."
Ten Hag also heaped praise on Sancho, who gave United the lead with a neat finish, which was his third goal in six matches this season, while he scored the same in 24 games last season. Also, his goal came when he was dropped from the English squad by national manager Gareth Southgate on Thursday for the upcoming UEFA Nations League (UNL) fixtures.
"I'm pleased with [Sancho]. Another goal and he also scored many goals in pre-season. He's doing well, but I think he has much room for improvement because he has many skills. So, bring it on the pitch, and when he has that belief, I think he can be even more productive," asserted ten Hag.