Erik ten Hag was being wined and dined by Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson as Real Madrid tore Liverpool apart at Anfield last night.
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The Dutchman was seen gesturing at the Stretford End after United’s 3-0 win against Leicester City on Sunday and he revealed afterwards it was a call to arms for supporters ahead of a huge game against Barcelona this Thursday.
And Ten Hag is clearly calling on every point of inspiration that he can, as the Dutchman dined with Ferguson in Wilmslow on Tuesday night.
While the dinner would likely have focused on United ahead of the game against Barcelona and the Carabao Cup final against Newcastle United on Sunday, the result 40 miles down the road at Anfield would surely have been raised.
Liverpool raced into a two-goal lead against the Champions League holders but Carlo Ancelotti’s men fought back emphatically to take a 5-2 lead into the second leg.
And it just so happened that he was dining with Ten Hag at the same time as Liverpool suffered the lowest point of their season so far.
Ten Hag’s side are level 2-2 on aggregate ahead of Thursday’s second leg Europa League play-off clash against Barcelona.
Away goals do not count at the play-off stage, meaning United must beat the Spaniards to progress to the knockout stages.
Anthony Martial, Antony and Harry Maguire are all set to miss out through injury, though Marcel Sabitzer and Lisandro Martinez are available after missing the first leg.
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