Premier League English

Erik ten Hag full of praise for in-form Rasmus Hojlund enabling Manchester United to push for top-4 spot

Hojlund’s red hot scoring form has Man United pushing for a top-4 spot with the goals suddenly flowing easily for the Manchester United striker.

The only thing that noticeably flowed easily for United in their 2-1 win at Luton on Sunday were the goals courtesy of the Dane’s scoring form, which could be enough to spark a late push for a top-four spot for Manchester United.

After going scoreless in his first 14 Premier League matches, the Dutch international netted twice in the opening seven minutes at Kenilworth Road, becoming the youngest player to score in six straight League games. The excitement fizzled out after that as United spent much of the game hanging on after Hojlund’s brilliant performance.

The win is United’s fourth straight league victory that puts them just three points behind fifth-place Tottenham.

“We made it hard for ourselves today,” Hojlund said. “I was rubbing my hands a lot of times because I was quite nervous. I’m grateful for the win though, but a little bit lucky.”

Despite this being a disappointing season for Ten Hag’s side, a top-four finish is now beginning to look like a realistic prospect.

“I think we are back in the race and we are building momentum,” Ten Hag said. “We need to build pressure. Every game is a final to get closer to them.”

Hojlund’s goals are clearly the main reason for optimism rekindling at United, as a striker who seems reliable, at least for now, to score on a more consistent basis.

“He can perform under stress,” Ten Hag said of Hojlund. “And when things go against him like in the first half of the season, he has abilities to be a strong character and he’s determined to score goals. And that’s what we saw. … You see he’s a fighter. He keeps going. And he has great abilities in front of the goal.”

Hojlund’s first goal came via intercepting a poor pass by defender Amari’i Bell to run clear through on goal and around goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski before slotting the ball into the empty net.

The second came with a with a benevolent wink from Lady Luck when Alejandro Garnacho’s shot after a corner struck Hojlund in the chest and bounced into the net.