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February 24, 2024
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Erik ten Hag says Man Utd throwing away leads is my responsibility

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says he is responsible for his side’s tendency to throw away leads in the Champions League.

United had a two-goal lead over Galatasaray twice in Istanbul but came away with a 3-3 draw on Wednesday.

It means progression to the last 16 of the competition is out of their hands, with United sitting bottom of Group A before the evening’s late kick-offs.

Asked who was to blame, Ten Hag told TNT Sports: “It’s always me.”

United have squandered a lead in five Champions League group games this season and have led two of their games by two goals at some point.

“I am responsible for this,” added Ten Hag. “We know we are in a project. We are making improvements, so that’s very hopeful.

“We are going in the right direction so I know we will be successful in the long-term, but if you want to stay in the Champions League you need to win these games.

“We were winning and then we’re losing it. We should have taken three points, that’s clear. We did this in other games. I was pleased with how we played but at the same time I have to criticise the team because the defending is not good enough.

“We are leading 3-1 and we cannot afford mistakes as it makes a difference.”

Errors from United goalkeeper Andre Onana threw Galatasaray lifelines to leave United bottom of the group before their final game at home to Bayern Munich.

If FC Copenhagen beat Bayern Munich in their match on Wednesday evening, Manchester United are out of the competition. If that match ends in a draw, United would need to beat Bayern and hope for a draw between Copenhagen and Galatasaray next month.

“We have to understand in these types of games and stages we have to be smart enough and manage the game better,” United captain Bruno Fernandes told TNT Sports.

“Everyone has to step up and take responsibility of their own mistakes. Now we don’t depend on ourselves but it is what it is.

“We were on top of the game twice and we had far too many chances to have the game closed. We were not clinical enough.

“What we have been doing in the Champions League is not enough. It is not the first game we’ve had like this. We have to secure the result.”

United had 17 shots in Istanbul, including 10 inside the box and four on target. Fernandes also hit the post in the second half as the visitors created 33 chances in total.

They were in a commanding position early on after superb strikes from Alejandro Garnacho and Fernandes inside the first 18 minutes.

But errors from Onana – allowing two Hakim Ziyech free-kicks to escape his grasp – allowed Galatasaray back into the game and substitute Kerem Akturkoglu’s finish brought them level at 3-3 with 19 minutes left.

Before the match, former United midfielder Paul Scholes told TNT Sports: “You just don’t know what you are going to get with Manchester United.”

And he was not filled with confidence at full-time.

“I can’t see them beating Bayern Munich. I sound like a broken record but that lack of leadership is what we have been saying [is missing] for years,” added Scholes.

“It was wide open, people are running through all the time. When you are 2-0 up just keep it tight. Just make sure you are solid. It was absolute madness.”

Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock told BBC Radio 5 Live Onana had “a terrible night” and his errors were “disastrous”.

Ex-United midfielder Robbie Savage said to TNT Sports: “That is terrible goalkeeping, two errors for me. There is a lack of balance. The manager will be scratching his head.

There are a lot of questions marks in the way they are going about things. They have scars from throwing away leads and [that is] hard to get rid of.

Source: BBC

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