Erik ten Hag says Manchester City capitalised on poor positional discipline from his Manchester United players (Getty)
United fell behind in the first half after VAR spotted Rasmus Hojlund’s foul on Rodri inside the area which allowed Erling Haaland to put City in front from the penalty spot. The Norway international doubled City’s lead nine minutes after half time following a swift counter, while Phil Foden rounded off a dominant display for Pep Guardiola’s side with a goal from close range with 10 minutes remaining.
United had a chance to equalise before half time as Marcus Rashford put Scott McTominay in on goal but the Scotland international’s stinging effort was saved by Ederson.
Ten Hag praised his side’s ‘disciplined’ first-half display but made it clear he was unhappy with his attacking players for their part in the second goal shortly after half time as Ederson beat the press with long ball which caught multiple United players out of position.
‘Our game plan first half we were very disciplined, then you see how successful you can be,’ Ten Hag told Sky Sports.
‘But second half for the second goal we make a mistake. We make a wrong decision by going up to the keeper [Ederson] in the wrong moment and not recovering quick.
‘Then they get into the game, they get power in the midfield, they can switch the play, players coming in the wrong positions and they make a great goal.
‘But it started with us by making a wrong decision, not having our shape, then they will outplay you.’
Erik ten Hag was unhappy with Manchester United’s mistake for Erling Haaland’s second goal (Reuters)
When asked about United’s approach to the second half in his post-match press conference, Ten Hag said: ‘We were losing and I decided to bring more offensive power in [at half time].
‘Then we made a mistake that was not according to the gameplan – go up to the keeper in that moment.
‘Then we got outplayed and it’s 2-0 quickly, it was a tough game, absolutely yeah, but the first half don’t forget I think it is exactly how we have to play against them.’
Ten Hag also highlighted the error from United’s attacking players during his post-game interview with MUTV.
‘The gameplan in the first half was very disciplined and then you see how successful it can be,’ Ten Hag said.
‘We made an error for the second goal, we made a mistake. A wrong decision by going up to the keeper at the wrong moment.
‘We did not recover quick and they can switch the play, our players are in the wrong positions and they make a great goal.
‘We went out of shape and got killed by that but the first half was so perfect as we defended so well.’
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‘We made a mistake. A wrong decision. We got killed by that.’