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Erik ten Hag gives verdict on Marcel Sabitzer debut after chaotic Man Utd victory

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag was impressed with what he saw from Marcel Sabitzer on the midfielder's Man Utd debut.

The Austrian international moved to Old Trafford on transfer deadline day, joining on loan from Bayern Munich to cover for Christian Eriksen's injury. He wasn't deemed ready to start the weekend victory over Crystal Palace, but was introduced by the manager for the final 10 minutes as a replacement for Antony.

Sabitzer was introduced during a frantic end to the game, as United were left hanging on in the closing stages after Casemiro's red card allowed Palace back into the game. With the Brazil midfielder missing the next three league games after his part in a brawl, former RB Leipzig man Sabitzer could find himself thrown into the starting XI sooner than anticipated.

"He came in, he played really well," Ten Hag said of his new recruit. "He understands the game and it is good to see."

An early Bruno Fernandes penalty and a close-range finish from Marcus Rashford put United two goals to the good going into the final quarter of the game. Palace pulled a goal back through Jeff Schlupp after Casemiro's dismissal, but were unable to find another late equaliser against Ten Hag's side after Michael Olise levelled in stoppage time in the reverse game in January.

While the victory was a narrow one, it was enough to ensure Ten Hag's side end the weekend in third place. Rivals Newcastle had the chance to move back above them with victory in the late kick-off, but could only manage a draw against struggling West Ham.

Marcel Sabitzer's Manchester United career is up and running (


Offside via Getty Images)

Sabitzer's arrival at Old Trafford came after the club put an emergency protocol in place following Eriksen's injury. The summer signing picked up an ankle problem in the FA Cup fourth round victory over Reading, and is expected to be missing until April at the earliest.

“Sometimes in life you have to make quick and important decisions," Sabitzer told club media. "From the moment I heard about this opportunity I knew it was right for me. I am a competitive player; I want to win and help the club achieve its aims this season.

“I feel that I am at my peak as a player, and that I can contribute a lot of experience and energy to the squad. I am excited to start with my new team-mates and manager and to show my qualities to Manchester United fans.”

The 28-year-old could be in line for his first Man Utd start against Leeds United, with a rearranged fixture meaning the two teams are set to meet in back-to-back games. A European debut for the club could follow, with the loanee added to United's Europa League squad ahead of their play-off round meeting with Barcelona.