Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag lamented the team’s inability to assert dominance after Newcastle United out-classed them
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag believes that the team need to assert their dominance after losing to Newcastle United. United lost 1-0 at St. James’ Park in the Saturday Premier League game, ending their three-game winning streak.
The Red Devils went into the away fixture after the mid-week disappointment in the Champions League game against Galatasaray. Man United drew 3-3 against the Turkish club despite having a two-goal advantage twice during the game.
United are facing an elimination threat from the Champions League, currently in the last position of Group A. Their final must-win game is against the league leaders Bayern Munich at Old Trafford.
Furthermore, they need FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray to draw to stand a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages. A victory for either team in that fixture would eliminate United from the Champions League competition.
The Red Devils fans expected a statement performance against the Magpies after the disappointment at the European competition. However, Newcastle dominated the game from the beginning until the end as United failed to muster a fight.
Speaking to reporters (h/t Manchester United’s official site), Ten Hag complained about the team’s inability to dominate the game. He said:
“You could say we defended quite well but I prefer to stay further away from our goal and I prefer to have more of the ball, to play in their half. We had our moments where we could make good formations but it wasn’t enough. We could have been more dominant in the game.”
The Magpies dominated the possession by 59% during the game while most of the play took place in United’s half. The Red Devils defended deep and struggled to maintain a clean sheet but managed to go level into the halftime.
Nevertheless, Newcastle found their way through the defence in the 55th minute, courtesy of a close-range finish from Anthony Gordon. United have dropped down to the seventh position in the Premier League table. Other clubs that are close in point tally are yet to play their respective games in this game week.
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Ten Hag need to rectify the problem before United faces Chelsea during the mid-week at Old Trafford. The Red Devils cannot afford to drop more points as they chase the top four position to qualify for the next season’s Champions League.