Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has stressed that his side’s shock 7-0 loss to Liverpool was nothing like the 4-0 loss to Brentford early in the season.
Back in Ten Hag’s second game in charge, United were comprehensively thumped by Brentford but the boss had overseen a massive improvement in performance before Sunday’s catastrophic loss at Anfield.
Despite obvious concerns over United’s away form and ability to deal with setbacks, Ten Hag insisted the two results told different stories.
“The result is quite obvious,”
“But I think it’s a huge difference from Brentford. We were 4-0 down at half-time, so we started the game very bad. Today, first half, I think we were the better team. First half, we created the better chances and we had two one-on-ones with the goalie and they hadn’t.
“Then before half-time we make one mistake [in terms of] organisation and we concede a goal, so I think we were in the game. So, it was really a surprise for me that after half-time we so quickly gave the game away.
“First two goals, two defensive transition moments. First was a turnover, second was a counter. We make such bad decisions, a matter of decisions on the ball. That was with the first one obviously but then how we anticipate, how we concede that goal is really annoying.
“Then the third was a counter, also so unprofessional about decisions, not following in, then running in, moving forward, giving the space away in the back end of midfield, not tracking back. And especially that one, not tracking back.
“Then it’s 3-0, then the game’s lost. Then as a team you have to stick together and that is what we didn’t do and that was a surprise for me. I haven’t seen this from my team I don’t think it’s us. I don’t think it’s Manchester United, so that’s really bad and poor.”Ten Hag said.
With their 11-game unbeaten streak now over, United will need an immediate response as they prepare to face Real Betis in the Europa League last 16 first leg at Old Trafford on Thursday.