Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag praised Brazil midfielder Casemiro after its win over Burnley in the Carabao Cup fourth round at the Old Trafford on Thursday.
“[We played] against a good team. I think they were good on the ball. It’s a difficult to get the press on [them] but I think we did. We had a lot of high regains, we had a lot of transitional moments. I think we need to take a little bit [from] that. There is definitely room for improvement, we have to work on that, but of course I am pleased with a win,” Ten Hag told the club website
This was the first competitive fixture for Man United after the World Cup and the team aced it with a 2-0 victory, thanks to goals from Christian Eriksen and Marcus Rashford in the 27th and 57th minute respectively.
The starting lineup saw Casemiro start in an unusual position - a centre-back, as opposed to that of a defensive midfielder where he has played for the most part of his career at Real Madrid and Brazil.
His presence at the back was praised by the Dutch manager as United returned to winning ways after two consecutive losses in friendlies before the match.
“[It was] what you can expect: really experienced, really composed. [He was] leading [and had] a good combination with Victor Lindelof. So I was happy with the performance,” he told the club website.
Casemiro had 126 touches in the game with more passes (90) than any player on the pitch, including 15 passes into the final third.
He made two blocks, nine clearances, and one interception, playing all 90 minutes. An errant late pass almost took some of the shine off his display, but Burnley could not take advantage.
The Brazil midfielder signed for Manchester United in August this year in a deal worth £70m and despite struggling for a place in the starting eleven initially, he has become one of the team’s pillars in the middle of the park.
In the FIFA World Cup, he was one of Brazil’s most important players and scored the decisive goal against Switzerland in the group stage to secure a place in the round of 16.
However, the Selecao were knocked out on penalties by Croatia in the quarterfinals, after which the 30-year-old returned to the Premier League side.
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