Ten Hag expects Casemiro to get even better after 'massive' performance against Chelsea

Brazilian midfielder scored the equaliser to earn Manchester United a draw at Stamford Bridge

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag believes there is even more to come from Casemiro after the Brazilian midfielder scored a superb equaliser to earn his side a Premier League draw at Chelsea on Saturday.

Trailing to an 87th-minute Jorginho penalty that looked to have secured the hosts all three points at Stamford Bridge, United pulled level deep in stoppage time when Casemiro rose to loop a header over Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who managed to tip the ball on to the bar only for it to sneak over the line.

It was a point United, and in particular Casemiro, deserved after the Brazil international had controlled the midfield for much of the game.

A new arrival from Real Madrid in the summer, Casemiro is quickly establishing himself as a leader and key player for Ten Hag, and the Dutchman expects the midfielder to continue to improve as he adjusts to the team and the demands of English football.

“He is growing from game to game and now, he made the equaliser," Ten Hag said. "And that gives the team and him more confidence. We need headers, and it was a great finish. But he is coming in the team and you see how important he is.

"I think he was massive today in his performance. He is now matching the Premier League intensity and from game to game he will be better. I am confident of that.”

A well-earned point continues United's upturn in form and comes soon after their comfortable 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, having started the season with successive defeats. United are now unbeaten in six matches in all competitions following the 6-3 derby humiliation at Manchester City, and sit one point behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League table.

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“It is quite clear we want to win every game and we want, in this moment, to develop the team," Ten Hag said. "That is what you need and getting in the right position, and we will see where we are when it is March or April. But that is a long road to go. So, for now, I am not looking at the table, I am looking at the process and the progress.”

There was some cause for concern at Stamford Bridge, though, after defender Raphael Varane left the pitch in tears following what appeared to be a leg injury.

“I don’t know, it is so short after we finished the game," Ten Hag said on the severity of Varane's injury. "We have to wait, no one can say anything about it, and we have to wait a minimum of 24 hours and maybe even longer and get the right diagnosis.”

Updated: October 23, 2022, 6:38 AM