'It is a huge moment for United and Ten Hag'

Erik ten Hag celebrates with the players
Erik ten Hag celebrates with the players

Manchester United breathed fresh life into their indifferent season – and perhaps into Erik ten Hag's time as manager - in the most dramatic fashion possible with their FA Cup quarter-final win over Liverpool.

In a campaign when entertainment and celebration has been in short supply, Ten Hag’s United rolled back the years with a 4-3 win after extra time that contained all the traditional ingredients of a previous Old Trafford era.

United overcame the adversity of Liverpool leading twice, the second occasion in extra time, to respond spectacularly in front of a roaring Stretford End, victory clinched in the dying seconds by Amad Diallo’s breakaway goal, the scorer then being sent off for a second yellow card for his celebrations.

It was reminiscent of the former days of 'Fergie Time', when United so often utilised the last-gasp goal to break opponents' hearts.

The fact that in this case it was Liverpool, who must now shut down all talks of a historic quadruple, who were beaten made the win even sweeter.

In the wider context, it is a huge moment for United and Ten Hag, who needs statement wins such as this to add to his case to stay as manager next season within the revamped football structure being assembled by new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Ten Hag's substitutions and approach were bold and fortune favoured the brave.

United will now be heavy favourites to reach a second successive FA Cup final after drawing Championship side Coventry City in the last four - but they will need this approach to beat Mark Robins' dangerous side to reach Wembley again.

Manchester United's great days have been few and between in recent seasons. This can be counted as one but now they must build on it.