Despite a costly defeat in the Danish capital, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag was happy with how his players conducted themselves. However the officials on the night will not be on the Dutchman’s Christmas card list this year.
The man from the Netherlands praised the Red Devil’s contribution to the opening of match. He said “we scored two great goals” and claimed that his team “dictated” the game in parts.
The former Ajax man claimed that the team should “take that with them” but were bitterly disappointed to lose the game in the way they did.
Ten Hag asserted that even with 10 men, his team were largely in control. This point of view could be backed up by the fact the Red Devils had 48% possession and the same number of shots on target as the hosts despite playing well over half the game with 10 men.
The Dutchman’s view on the officiating in the game struck a contrasting picture. The coach was asked how he reflected on the game and he retorted if the interviewer had an hour. A rare bit of humour from the often serious character.
Once again he may have a point. VAR has been a thorny issue for many Man United supporters this season. The team have also made the wrong sort of history becoming the first team in competition history to concede four penalties in their first four group games.
The man from Haaksbergen claimed that “the red card changes everything and we concede two goals before half-time that should never have come. The first is offside, the second is a penalty… very debatable.”
It is safe to say who the Manchester United manager saw as the main culprit for the devastating loss in Copenhagen.
Ten Hag also took exception to how long the red card took to be given and claimed that the freezing of the image made the foul by Marcus Rashford look worse. To be fair, this has been a sentiment echoed by plenty of those involved in football.
The Red Devils coach also boldly asserted that the attitude of the team was great and “as a team, I can’t make any criticism.” The man in the Old Trafford hotseat also defiantly claimed “It will turn. It will turn. There will be one moment in our season…”.
While Ten Hag can take heart in the first half performance before the red card and the fight shown in the second half, it is clear that the attitude was not great. His side repeatedly display mental fragility in key moments and it has put a huge dent in their European hopes. If the Old Trafford outfit are to salvage anything from this season, they need to buck up their ideas quickly. The unforgiving atmosphere of Galatasaray’s RAMS park awaits.