Erik Ten Hag
Manchester United secured three crucial points in the Premier League on Tuesday AFP News/Ben Stansall

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has revealed what he said to inspire his team in their 3-2 comeback against Aston Villa. After being 0-2 down at Old Trafford in the Boxing Day fixture on Tuesday, the Red Devils fought back to secure three crucial points in the Premier League.

Aston Villa's John McGinn and Leander Dendoncker scored in the first half to silence the home crowd. Then, Manchester United forward Alejandro Garnacho brought life back to his side with two back-to-back goals after the hour mark.

Rasmus Hojlund electrified Old Trafford's atmosphere with his 82nd-minute winner. This was a perfect occasion for the 20-year-old Danish striker to record his first-ever Premier League goal for Manchester United.

After a poor performance in all departments in the first half, the Red Devils significantly improved in the second half of the game. One of the reasons behind it could be Ten Hag's half-time team talk and the Dutch boss has given out some details of the same.

"The atmosphere changed a lot from the first half to the second, but if you look at the first half you are losing because of two set plays, in moments where we were not so focused. I think already in the first half we played quite well, and kept trying and trying.

"At half-time I said to the team: 'Keep believing, and keep doing what we did, actually do even more'. We needed to put more and more pressure on. At 1-2 then when we added pressure you see what happened," Ten Hag said in a post-match interview.

Adding further, Ten Hag said he told his boys before the Aston Villa game that they were competitive against Arsenal and Liverpool and if they continued to produce their best, they could beat anyone.

"Believe that, even when you are two-nil down, it doesn't matter. Keep going, show character, and today they did show we have the personality to do it. I think it was a very good team performance," said Ten Hag.

While Manchester United looked like they would be slipping down further in the Premier League table, they are back into the European qualification places with a shocking comeback win.

With 31 points from 19 games, Manchester United are in sixth place in the 2023-24 Premier League table. They are 11 points behind table-toppers Liverpool, who comfortably beat Burnley at Turf Moor earlier in the day on Tuesday.

Manchester United are scheduled to play one more time before the end of this year. The Red Devils will travel to the East Midlands to take on Nottingham Forest on Dec. 30.