In his first year as manager of Manchester United, Erik ten Hag has had several difficulties.
If the 20-time league winner wants to regain its previous glory, there is still much work to be done.
But with a 4-1 victory against Chelsea on Thursday night in front of a raucous Old Trafford crowd, Ten Hag fulfilled what he termed his “main objective” of getting back into the Champions League.
Despite being a fantastic season, he said, “the season is not over yet.” “You have to qualify in the first four because this club belongs in the Champions League.” We had a successful Premier League campaign. A really excellent season, in my opinion.
Marcus Rashford, Casemiro, Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes, and other goals propelled United to victory, ensuring a top-four finish. Prior to the season's last game, United climbed up to third place and two points ahead of Newcastle.
Ten Hag's situation could improve even more when he won the League Cup in February, his first prize. On June 3 at Wembley, United will compete against Manchester City in the FA Cup final.
The Champions League qualifying has been the ultimate yardstick by which his predecessors have been assessed throughout the difficult ten years since legendary former manager Alex Ferguson resigned, even though winning a trophy adds gloss to an excellent first season under the Dutch coach.
Following their failure to earn a spot in the premier league of European football, David Moyes and Louis van Gaal lost their jobs.
When the team's performance put qualification in severe jeopardy, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left.
Ten Hag was recruited last year to change United's fortunes, and despite his challenges in an eventful first season in English football, he has succeeded in doing so.
Casemiro and Martial's goals in the first half set United on pace for the victory over Chelsea, which assured there wouldn't be a late slip-up to allow in archrival Liverpool. United needed only a point from its last two games of the season.
Liverpool will finish fifth and secure a berth in the Europa League thanks to United's victory, which Mohamed Salah deemed unacceptable. In a tweet, the Liverpool attacker said he is “devastated.”
The joyful scenes at Old Trafford were a far cry from previous humiliating defeats, including a 6-3 loss to Manchester City and a 7-0 thrashing by Liverpool.
Prior to his bitter departure in November, Cristiano Ronaldo openly insulted the team. In addition, crucial players like Anthony Martial, Christian Eriksen, and Lisandro Martinez all had injuries.
The former Ajax coach has maintained his attention on the goal of finishing in the top four and his long-term plan to restore a team that has been in decline since Ferguson's departure.
After Pep Guardiola's squad won its fifth league championship in as many seasons this year, Ten Hag used the occasion to warn United that it is still some distance from challenging City's supremacy in the Premier League.
In the summer, when a top striker will be his first objective, he wants support in the transfer market.
It's a fantastic foundation to build upon, but the standards and expectations must increase, he added. “With this team, we must work throughout the summer as well as throughout the window. See if you can make the team stronger.
We have a lot of work to accomplish since we are currently far away. We make growth as a club and as a squad, but if we want to compete at the top levels, we need better players.
On Thursday, United defeated Chelsea easily.
Casemiro headed in Christian Eriksen's free kick in the sixth minute to give them the lead. them needed a point from its last two games to qualify for the Champions League.
Prior to that, Chelsea should have taken the lead thanks to Mykhaylo Mudryk, but the $108 million acquisition absolutely flopped with just goalkeeper David de Gea to beat.
In the last seconds of the first half, Martial extended United's advantage, and in the 73rd minute, Fernandes scored a third from the penalty spot after being fouled by Wesley Fofana.
When the defender's careless ball was intercepted and replacement Rashford scored a fourth five minutes later, things for Fofana and Chelsea only got worse.
Another option for Late in the game, as United looked for another, Alejandro Garnacho struck the crossbar.
Despite Chelsea's substitute Joao Felix's consolation goal in the 89th minute, the Londoners had yet another wretched night as they have now lost eight of their previous ten games under interim manager Frank Lampard.
The club is having a rough year, according to Lampard. “It's crucial to identify the causes of improvement,”
Ten Hag's assessment of Antony's first-half injury as severe caused alarm for United, and Luke Shaw had to be substituted at the break.