Sunday, June 4, 2023

Man Utd boss Ten Hag wanted more goals in win at Forest

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Apr 2023


Erik ten Hag had hoped his Manchester United team would kill off Nottingham Forest earlier than they did as they ran out 2-0 victors at the City Ground on Sunday.

Antony put the Red Devils ahead in the first-half, but United struggled to find a way past Keylor Navas again until Diogo Dalot grabbed a second in the 76th minute.

United ended the game with an expected goals rate (xG) of 3.49, and ultimately secured three points to leapfrog Newcastle United into third place in the Premier League.

“A solid performance. A well deserved win. The only criticism I could say, it had to be higher, the score. It had to be 3-0 or 4-0. We missed a lot of chances there,” Ten Hag told Sky Sports after the game.

“You want to score and finish and kill the game in the early moments. That’s always important. In big games you don’t create so many chances, so you have to score them.

“We need more goalscorers and I’m happy with Antony. He scored a goal, gave an assist. His start in the game wasn’t that good… But after he came into the game and he was continually a threat for the opponent.”

United were without top scorer Marcus Rashford through injury, as well as defensive pair Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez after both suffered knocks in Thursday’s 2-2 Europa League quarter-final first leg draw with Sevilla.

To add to Ten Hag’s issues, Marcel Sabitzer was forced to pull out of the game after being injured in the warm-up on Sunday, and was replaced by Christian Eriksen.

It may have even been a benefit for Ten Hag, with the midfield trio of Casemiro, Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes winning 15 of their 17 matches started together at the club, drawing the other two.

“Sabitzer came off in the warm-up, he felt something. We decided not to take the risk, we will find out tomorrow what it is,” the Red Devils’ manager explained to BBC Sport. “But when you have Eriksen on the bench, it is definitely not a disadvantage.

“Last week I had nine fit top defenders, now I have four. We need all our players, we are still in three competitions, we need all the players to form a top team.”

Dalot celebrated with notable enthusiasm when he made it 2-0 after running onto a pass from Antony and finishing calmly, and he explained to the BBC: “It was a release of emotions, more than the goal it was the moment of the goal, we needed it to be more comfortable.

“One-nil up with 10 minutes to go, it’s going to be a war, so it came at the right moment.”


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