Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag on unprofessional performance against Liverpool
In an embarrassing show from the Red Devils, they got battered, smashed and humbled by a rampant Jurgen Klopp team, with a brace from Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez, and a goal in the end by Roberto Firmino.
One can argue that ten Hag’s men were the better team in the first half in terms of the chances created. But, conceding right on the stroke of half-time opened the floodgates in the second half.
Here’s what the boss said just after the match (h/t Manchester Evening News):
“The second half was unprofessional. It can’t happen and we have to talk about it. It was about the whole team, I saw 11 individuals losing their heads. That is not Manchester United, we have higher standards.”
We can talk about having high standards and this not happening, but United have now lost by an aggregate of 11-0 in their last two visits to Anfield. That, in addition to the 5-0 humbling at home last season. This is more than a one-off and needs serious looking at.
The second-half meltdown was epitomised by the lacklustre display from the captain Bruno Fernandes. He was more busy moaning at the referee rather than focusing on doing his job. In games like this, when things are slipping away, the captain takes more responsibility than Bruno did.
With a crunch first leg of the Europa League tie against Real Betis coming up on Thursday. Ten Hag does not have much time to resurrect the mood in the camp and make them look ahead.
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The manager himself needs to take some of the blame. Some of his substitutions were below par in the second half. But, one can say that it wouldn’t have much difference because the heads were gone. Whatever the case, the team needs to strike back as soon as possible.