Varane opens up on Manchester United’s improvement under Ten Hag ahead of Barca clash

Raphael Varane has discussed Manchester United’s growth under Erik ten Hag as the club prepare to face Barcelona on Thursday evening.

The European heavyweights played out a wonderfully entertaining 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou last week, with the Red Devils likely to be confident of progressing to the last 16.


United will be boosted by the return of the suspended Lisandro Martinez and Marcel Sabitzer, while Antony and Harry Maguire are also set to return following injuries, and speaking ahead of the game, Raphael Varane said the side wants to play with ‘patience’ and ‘discipline’.

“I think the first game against Barcelona was a very good game, top level, two offensive teams who want to press high on the pitch,” he said at the pre-match press conference.

“The level was good, it was a good result for us. We could have scored more goals, but we played with character and personality on the pitch.

“We want to play with patience, discipline, patience on the pitch. We are ready for that challenge.”

After a disastrous first couple of games which saw the Red Devils beaten by Brighton and Brentford, Manchester United have now put a superb run together to move up to third in the Premier League as well as progress to the Carabao Cup final.

The World Cup winner thinks that the side have grown a lot over the last month, but urged his teammates to be ‘calm’ in what he expects to be an ‘electric’ Old Trafford atmosphere.

“I think in the last month we grow a lot,” he said. “I think we are playing with more confidence and tomorrow the atmosphere will be electric. We have to manage our emotions, be calm and believe.

“The next aim is to beat teams like Barcelona. It is a real challenge and a good opportunity.”

United were atrocious last season as they finished a distant sixth in the league, and Varane was asked what has changed at the club over the last year.

“I think first of all it is the confidence,” he said. “Secondly, it is discipline. Tactically we know exactly how we want to play, to manage the game.

“With a little bit more experience and the mentality of competition we have already improved a lot, and that is maybe the difference.”

Read – Nine players who played for both Manchester United and Barcelona

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