Erik ten Hag singles out Man Utd ‘mosquito’ for stopping Frenkie de Jong


Erik ten Hag was delighted as Man Utd booked their spot in the Europa League last 16 (Picture: Getty)

Erik ten Hag singled out one of his Manchester United stars for praise and labelled him a ‘mosquito’ for stopping Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.

De Jong was heavily linked with a summer move to Old Trafford and was believed to be Ten Hag’s No.1 transfer target.

But he was largely stopped by United’s Fred during the Red Devils’ 2-1 win over the Catalan club in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Ten Hag heaped praise on the Brazil international, who also scored in the second-leg victory at Old Trafford.

‘He had an important role already last week in Barcelona, and this week the same, first he had to stop Frenkie de Jong playing,’ Ten Hag said in his press conference.

‘He had to play as a mosquito around him! He did it magnificently.’

The Dutchman also lauded Antony – who has faced criticism at various points this season after his big money move to the club in the summer.

Antony netted the 73rd-minute winner as Ten Hag told reporters: ‘I know he can deal with [criticism]. He is brave, he is fearless.

‘I think what he brought in the second half was what we needed. He brings so much to this team.’

Speaking more generally about the win over Barcelona, Ten Hag added: ‘The biggest win? Yes, I think so.

‘We’ve had some good wins, Liverpool, Arsenal at home, really good wins, but I think this [is the biggest].

‘Barcelona is the leader of La Liga, eight points ahead of Real Madrid, we’ve all seen Real Madrid this week, and if you then beat them I think it’s a big win.

‘In the end, it was a great win because we had the belief to get that win. We got it by getting forward and, in the right moments, we strike.’

MORE : Paul Scholes rates Man Utd’s Premier League title chances after Barcelona win

MORE : Man Utd throw shade at Xavi over Bruno Fernandes comment after win against Barcelona

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