Ten Hag says Rasmus Hojlund 'will score more' after ending Premier League goal drought

Manchester United stage stunning fightback to defeat Aston Villa 3-2

Manchester United's Rasmus Hojlund celebrates scoring their side's third goal against Aston Villa at the Old Trafford. AP
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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag expects Rasmus Hojlund to keep on improving after the £72million signing finally scored his first Premier League goal to seal a stunning 3-2 comeback win over Aston Villa.

United looked destined for a 14th defeat of the season in all competitions after Villa scored twice in the space of six first-half minutes through John McGinn and Leander Dendoncker. United fans made their displeasure clear as boos rang around Old Trafford at the break.

It was tense moment for the team. Just two days back, British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe had struck a deal to take a minority stake at Manchester United.

Ineos director of sport Dave Brailsford, who has been named a director of United after the Ratcliffe deal, was watching on from the stands at Old Trafford.

After the break, United rallied with Alejandro Garnacho scoring twice before Hojlund won it in the 82nd minute.

Although Hojlund, the summer signing from Atalanta, finished as United's top-scorer in their short-lived Champions League campaign, he failed to find the net in 16 matches in domestic competition. He made no mistake when McGinn flicked the ball into his path eight minutes from time.

Manchester United 3-2 Aston Villa ratings

"Of course I've had several talks with him and every time I've pointed out he has scored for Denmark a lot, he has scored in the Champions League, he has demonstrated his ability so you can do it, believe," Ten Hag said of the Dane, 20.

"I'm sure now he has the first goal he will score more. When a striker doesn't score it's a problem but he has a strong character, he is so solid, determined. He has a big personality. I think this is what a striker needs. When you keep investing, the goals will come."

Ten Hag said he is looking forward to working with new management.

"We are looking forward, I think it's positive for the club that they are in the stepping in," Ten Hag said. "They have a lot of experience in sport on the highest level, F1, the cycling team (Ineos Grenadiers), other football clubs, so it can only help and support us to get our targets.

"So we are looking forward. They want to work with us and we want to work with them."

Tuesday's clash was truly a game of two halves as United looked re-energised after the break. The team was serenaded with delighted singing and a standing ovation at the final whistle.

"So we said: keep going and believe it, in ourselves," Ten Hag said. "And I said that is what I demand from the team, I said it before the game, I said it during halftime, keep believing and we will win this game."

Updated: December 27, 2023, 11:57 AM