Erik ten Hag makes ‘physical’ Newcastle United claim following Manchester United win

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Manchester United defeated Newcastle United 3-2 at Old Trafford as the race for European qualification heats up.

Erik ten Hag has praised his side’s ability to match Newcastle United’s physicality during their 3-2 win at Old Trafford on Wednesday night. The Red Devils ended a run of three successive defeats to the Magpies and gave themselves an opportunity to qualify for Europe through the Premier League on the final day of the season.

Ten Hag has been critical of Newcastle United’s style of play in the past - but felt his team were able to match their opponents on what could prove to be a crucial win for his side. Ten Hag said: “Newcastle have a lot of physical power and you have to match that but you also have to play football. We had found the really good balance in this.”

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Manchester United now have two games left of the season - with two chances of qualifying for Europe thrown into that. If they are able to better Newcastle’s result against Brentford on Sunday then they will finish above the Magpies and guarantee European football. 

If not, then they will finish in 8th place and be reliant on winning the FA Cup against local-rivals Manchester City in order to play European football next season. Despite the opportunity of silverware being just over a week away, Ten Hag is keen to ensure his players remain focussed on their game at the Amex Stadium on Sunday - one that could be a defining game for the Magpies.

"We don't think about this [FA Cup] yet. First we have Brighton in the last game which is important in the ranking. We don't have it in our hands but we have to do our job.”

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