Erik ten Hag fumes after Sevilla defeat
The Manchester United boss admitted that the hosts had shown “more passion, more desire” as they booked a spot in the semi-finals.
Manchester United were humbled by Sevilla in the Europa League, losing 3-0 against a side fighting against relegation in La Liga.
The Red Devils looked overawed by the intensity in Sevilla’s play and the atmosphere in the stands, giving away cheap goals against the Europa League specialists. After the match, Erik ten Hag criticised his side’s limp display.
“We have to do better, that’s the demand,” the Dutchman said.
“We were not composed, not calm. We didn’t beat the press, when you do there are so many spaces behind, and it was obvious at the start how to do it.”
Sevilla were clearly spurred on the raucous atmosphere in the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan but United’s failure to rouse themselves after a sluggish start will be a major concern for Ten Hag.
“We lost the battles, they had more passion, more desire, more willingness, that’s difficult to win games,” he said.
United must improve for trip to Brighton
Thursday’s defeat puts United out of the Europa League but they have a chance to right some wrongs this weekend. On Sunday the Red Devils travel to Wembley for an FA Cup semi-final against in-form Brighton & Hove Albion.
“We can’t run away from it,” Ten Hag insisted. “On Sunday we have another opportunity and have to step up and show more character and personality.”
“[Tonight] we have to blame ourselves. It’s gone, we can’t change it. We have to look forward to Sunday, that’s the next opportunity.”
However Thursday’s defeat will be a painful one for United fans, who have endured a very up-and-down season under the Dutchman. For all the positivity and progress under Ten Hag there have been a number of sub-par performances and embarrassing losses.
“At this level, playing for Manchester United, you have to be ready for every game,” Ten Hag said after the Sevilla defeat.
“I believe in [the players] and trust them but they have to show it and they were not good enough. We have shown on so many occasions good things but tonight we weren’t ready for the game.”