Erik ten Hag gives his verdict on Marcel Sabitzer's Man Utd debut cameo

Erik ten Hag has praised Marcel Sabitzer’s debut performance for Manchester United while team-mate Luke Shaw thought he was particularly impressive given the side’s numerical disadvantage.

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The Red Devils collected all three points against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday, with goals from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford putting the side two up.

But a melee in the 70th minute resulted in Casemiro getting sent off and just six minutes later Jeffrey Schlupp pulled a goal back for the visitors, though United held on to secure a 2-1 victory.

Sabitzer, a deadline day loan signing from Bayern Munich, entered the fray in the 80th minute in place of Antony as Ten Hag looked to add an extra body in midfield and solidify his team after Casemiro’s dismissal.

The 28-year-old struggled a little to impact the match – attempting three passes and completing just two in his 10 or so minutes on the pitch – but worked hard off the ball as Palace pushed for an equaliser.

Ten Hag was happy with what he saw from the Austrian and is confident he will be a big asset between now and the end of the season.

Asked about the new boy’s performance, Ten Hag told MUTV: ‘Yeah he understands football. You see straight from the start.

‘We have already seen that in the training as well. But, yeah, he did quite well.

‘He’s really composed on the ball and he knows how to defend. We need such a player who understands the game and will bring also the right spirit in.’

Luke Shaw – who was in close proximity to Sabitzer, who took up a left-sided central midfield role – was even more complimentary and felt the Bayern loanee contributed massively to the win.

‘He was amazing and he’s not been here long,’ said the left-back.

‘He’s only been here a couple of days now and he showed his quality in training.

‘I think to come on with 10 men and show that impressive performance in not so long [on the pitch] is good and shows signs to come of what he’s about.’

Sabitzer is likely to be a regular sight in the United midfield over the coming weeks, with Donny van de Beek, Christian Eriksen and Scott McTominay all injured and Casemiro now suspended for three Premier League matches.

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