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Erik ten Hag: United showed lack of belief against City

City carved United open with hat-tricks from Erling Haaland and Phil Foden at the Etihad Stadium.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Manager Erik ten Hag of Manchester United and Manager Pep Guardiola of Manchester City watch from the touchling during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on October 02, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jared Martinez/Manchester United via Getty Images)
Jared MartinezGetty

After a 6-3 derby day defeat, Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag said he was surprised by the lack of fight his players showed against Manchester City on Sunday.

City carved United open in the sunshine at the Etihad with hat-tricks from Erling Haaland and Phil Foden. The home side led 4-0 at the break thanks to a scintillating first half.

United scored three second-half goals through Antony and a brace from Anthony Martial but it was not enough for the away side.

“We showed a lack of belief. I am surprised why we didn’t bring it on the pitch, I have seen a different team, spirit and we did not look convinced. I have to talk to my players and find out why,” Ten Hag said post-match.

“If you don’t fight, which we didn’t, you are going to have a problem against Manchester City. This is different to Brentford, that day we didn’t run. Today we wanted to run but there was a lack of belief.

“I will show the team tomorrow we could have been on the front foot. In the first goal, we won the ball and could have created a chance and gave it away. That is unacceptable.

“I wanted to change the attitude of the team, we were braver in the second half, created chances and scored three goals. Only from mistakes you learn, we have to do better in the next game.

“It is a process, when you are not concentrated against Manchester City, you get hammered, that is what happened. You cause your own problems, you get hammered.”

Ronaldo kept on the bench

Ten Hag decided against bringing on Cristiano Ronaldo in the second half as United were humiliated by Guardiola’s side.

When asked why he didn’t send the Portuguese forward on, Ten Hag said it was “out of respect for his big career”.

Casemiro on bench

Casemiro started the game on the bench before replacing Scott McTominay on the hour-mark.

“On the day we signed him we started to win. The team was doing well. It is not against Casemiro, it is for Scott McTominay. I am sure he will be important for us, in the short term he will find himself in the team, but it has to come in a natural way,” Ten Hag added.


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