MANCHESTER, Feb 12 — Manchester United displayed great character and mentality to score a late winner in their 2-1 Premier League victory over Aston Villa despite being fatigued towards the end of the high-intensity match, manager Erik ten Hag said.

Rasmus Hojlund’s 17th-minute opener was cancelled out by Douglas Luiz’s second-half strike before substitute Scott McTominay scored in the 86th minute to move sixth-placed United up to 41 points after their third consecutive victory.

“I liked especially the first 20 minutes. When we are dictating the game, after I think we are dropping a little bit too much,” Ten Hag told reporters yesterday.

“We had our moments in the counter attacks, but yeah, I think then at 1-1, to fight back, we are really happy for today... I think it was really high intensity and you could see how many players were so, so fatigued by the end.

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“It was so open and it could go two ways. But then finally, I think we found the mentality, the character to win this game. And I think also the subs, they have had an impact.”

United were dealt an injury scare during the win with defender Luke Shaw, who has missed a large portion of the season due to injury, being substituted at half-time.

Ten Hag said the England left back’s substitution was precautionary, adding: “He mentioned some complaints and we can’t take a risk with, especially Luke Shaw, because he has had so many injuries in the past.

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“We took him off so that it did not become an injury. We have to see how it develops in the coming days.”

United travel to 17th-placed Luton Town for a league clash on Sunday. — Reuters