Plum skin Witch praised Alejandro Garnacho For taking another step in his development after 18 year old inspiration Manchester United a late comeback victory against West Ham in the FA Cup.
Three days after winning the Carabao Cup final against Newcastle at Wembley, the Red Devils refocused on their fifth-round match on Wednesday, which seemed to be pulling away from them.
Said Benrahma, who gave West Ham a well-deserved lead, quickly turned their night upside down from the 77th minute.
Nayef Aguerd’s own goal drew a draw at United level and Fred took a 3-1 win in stoppage time after Garnacho reversed the tie with a beautiful 90th minute goal.
“Today I see one more step,” said manager Ten Hag of the teenager. “Before the game I said to him, ‘It’s time to make an impact when it comes, but now you have to make an impact as a starter’.
“I think he can do that, so this is the next step he has to take.
“This (fearlessness) is one of his talents. But it’s definitely a great talent when you’re fearless, brave.
“He’s one of those players that I think has a very special talent.
“There aren’t many players in world football who can meet, attack and dribble players.
“But he has more skills than just that, like finishing.
“I see that he has a big engine too. He’s fast and has speed, but he can run for 90 minutes or 120 minutes.”
Garnacho was named man of the match due to his influence in only his 10th start as a United player.
Argentinian teenager will make international headlines but Ten Hag quickly praised Wout WeghorstHe has scored only one goal in 13 games since joining on loan in January but has had an impact.
“I think he’s one of the best players on the field,” said the United boss.
“I think he was involved – I need to see the back corner but I think he was up front, coming in to score an own goal with Harry (Maguire).
“I think Garnacho pressed the goal into the key of the game.
“He had a role on the third goal where he put a good press and forced his opponent Fred to make a mistake where he could score.
“But I think he understands the positions of possession and absence. He’s doing a really good job for the team.”
When asked if the next step for Weghorst is to add goals to his game, Ten Hag replied, “Sure, but that’s the future.
“I have experience with a lot of players and I’m talking about (Marcus) Rashford. He didn’t score in every game at the start of the season.
“But I know from experience that he will come when he’s calmer. He’s played a lot of games with us now, but not for a long time.
The routines will be here when you stay here longer. When he gets the first goal, there will be more.”
United’s prize is their home quarter-final match against Fulham as West Ham returns to London complaining of a missed chance.
Hammers boss David Moyes said: “We had a great opportunity to get through tonight and threw it in my eyes.
“I thought we had a great chance to dodge. He really did.
“We played well in the best part, which felt like 80 minutes, and we didn’t quite see it.
“We could have scored a second goal, but we had to make sure we didn’t concede even if we didn’t get the second goal.
“In the end we conceded some really ridiculous goals.”