Erik ten Hag wants Manchester United to remain grounded after Europa League win

Erik ten Hag tried to play down Antony's showboating in the Europa League win against Sheriff Tiraspol while admitting he would have a word with the Manchester United star.

The Red Devils wrapped up qualification for the knockout phase with a game to spare as Diogo Dalot, Marcus Rashford and the returning Cristiano Ronaldo scored in Thursday's 3-0 win at Old Trafford.

The result sets up a Group E showdown at Real Sociedad next Thursday, when failure to usurp the Spanish leaders in the standings will mean a knockout play-off against one of the Champions League dropouts.

But one of the main talking points after beating Sheriff was Antony's double spin skill in the first half - something Robbie Savage branded "embarrassing" after the summer signing then put the ball out of play.

United great Paul Scholes called it "ridiculous" but Ten Hag, who went onto take the Brazil international off at half-time, is happy to see such expressions of skill if done properly.

"I don't have a problem with that as long as it's functional," he said.

"Also from him I demand more: more runs behind, more often in the box, more followers in and more tempo dribbles, especially, and more playing in the pocket.

"So, we demand more dominance in this game and when there is a trick like that, it's nice.

"As long as it's functional, if you're not losing the ball and you're attracting players, then it's OK.

"But if it's a trick because of a trick, then I will correct him."

Needless skills were something Ronaldo cut out during his first spell at Old Trafford and helped him become a superstar.

The 37-year-old returned to the starting line-up on Thursday evening after sitting out Saturday's trip to Chelsea having refused to come on against Tottenham last week.

Ronaldo was enduring a frustrating night in front of goal but eventually scored his 701st club goal to wrap up the victory.

"He kept going and the team kept going to put him in the right position," Ten Hag said. "He kept going to get himself in the right position.

"He didn't give up. I think that is what his whole career (is about). That's why he is so good. In the end, he gets the reward for it."

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