Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has praised the Red Devils’ defensive efforts in their 2-0 victory over Villarreal.
United secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with the victory, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho taking the important goals in Spain.
And Maguire has praised the professionalism and solidity that the team has shown.
“It’s huge for our season,” said Maguire of the win at BT Sport. “We knew when we started playing that the last few months have not been good enough.
“Tonight was a big and important result – we needed to come here and get a result, for our season and for our fans. We know how tough it has been for them in recent weeks, but we have to make sure it is a start and we need to press.
“It was not beautiful, especially the first half. It was tough, tight and energy. Two teams that wanted to go for the victory but could not lose the match as well. It was important to stay in the match, we made changes to freshen things up. and things and I thought the guys who came from the bench helped us push on and we felt we had that victory from the second half.
“I think the emphasis was on getting the result. We know that it’s hard to get away from home is in Europe – you have to stay stable, not give away goals, I thought we did it and executed the plan really well. Second half it felt like “We controlled it much better, especially after 60 minutes. We probably got what we deserved in the end because of the chances we created.”
Ronaldo has now scored six goals in five Champions League matches for Man Utd since returning to the club last summer. Maguire praised his influence and insists that the Red Devils must become stronger defensively to get the best out of their star striker.
“He has been brilliant. That’s what he’s doing in his career,” Maguire added. “That’s why we have to be solid and come back to keep a clean sheet. We know that if we keep a clean sheet, you have a chance to win with him up front.
“As a Man United team we want to be on the front foot, we want to be aggressive, we want to play at a high pace. In the first half it was a little too irritating, we played with a little too much fear But we stayed stable without putting enough pressure on the ball and we talked about it at half time. “