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Analysis: Man Utd 4-3 Liverpool

Erik ten Hag applauds the Manchester United fans
Erik ten Hag applauds the Manchester United fans

New Manchester United director Sir Dave Brailsford was sitting in the directors' box at Old Trafford on Sunday watching the drama unfold.

At some point, Brailsford, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and, presumably, prospective chief executive Omar Berrada and Dan Ashworth will need to make a decision about the future of manager Erik ten Hag.

There is a school of thought that Ten Hag's work cannot be properly assessed until the structures at United are in place that would allow a manager to have the opportunity to succeed.

But any manager needs victories. And while this was only an FA Cup quarter-final, the manner of it - and the opponent - felt significant for the Dutchman.

It was interesting in the aftermath he also mentioned Tottenham's defeat on Saturday and Aston Villa's draw with West Ham given that was in Premier League combat and Ratcliffe has made the point about how important Champions League qualification is.

Fifth place is looking increasingly likely to be enough. United have six points to make up on Tottenham and nine on Villa, although they do have a game in hand.

The run-in is going to be fascinating. And Ten Hag is fully focused for it.