Erik ten Hag was deeply frustrated by Manchester United’s surrender to Tottenham on Thursday night, which saw them give up a two-goal lead.
Erik ten Hag admitted he saw Tottenham’s fightback coming and was too late in making substitutions to turn the tide for Manchester United on Thursday night.
United took the lead in north London in the seventh minute, Jadon Sancho finding the bottom corner with an accurate finish. Marcus Rashford was held off twice by Fraser Forster before making it 2-0 and running past Bruno Fernandes’ long ball to land at the near post.
Tottenham were booed at half-time and produced a reaction after the break when Pedro Porro returned a goal on a loose ball. Fernandes should have restored the two-goal lead but fired the crossbar from close range after dancing through the defence.
Harry Kane will have to go back to his old ways if he is to meet Man Utd’s criteria on their travels. Son Heung-min missed a great chance and Eric Dier fended off a free header but Spurs pressure showed it. Harry Kane released Son at the far post and the South Korean equalized.
Ten Hag made two double substitutions, bringing on Fred and Anthony Martial on 61 minutes and Wout Weghorst and Tyrell Malacia 10 minutes later, but they didn’t have the desired effect. The United boss was annoyed watching his player on the touchline but did not act fast enough and son Heung-Min of Tottenham Hotspur scores.
“It was the same as before half-time,” he told BT Sport. “We lost control, we conceded the goal – you could see it coming and I had already prepared the subs, but I was a little bit too late.”
Asked whether his team needed to manage the game better, he replied: “Yeah, of course, manage the game, keep the ball. We gave so many easy balls away. Have a good defensive organisation, which we didn’t always have. “With the goals [we conceded] it was pretty obvious – we didn’t block crosses and you have to be proactive there. You have to get out there and block the shot. The second [goal] was a long ball and we weren’t rushed, it was so easy for them. They kept coming and it was so easy to score.”
Ten Hag identified Fernandes’ failure in the 2-1 scoreline with United as a pivotal moment in the game.
“Obviously when you lie 2-0 you’re a bit disappointed, when you draw it’s pretty obvious, but you have to accept it,” he said. “We had chances to make it 3-1 after 2-1, which we didn’t do and then conceded. But in the end I think this week’s 2-2 is a good draw.
“We weren’t that good for 90 minutes. Even in the first half we didn’t play well, for me. We were 2-0 up and after the break we should have scored again.”