Erik ten Hag ‘clutching at straws’ with comments after Man Utd’s latest defeat

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Jamie Carragher questioned Erik ten Hag’s comments following Manchester United’s Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich. The Premier League manager remained upbeat about the team’s performance despite his side crashing out of Europe entirely, failing to drop into the Europa League.

The game saw United succumb to a 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford in their final Champions League group stage game. A win would have at least given them a chance of dropping into the Europa League, but other results meant that honour would instead go to Galatasaray – with the final Champions League spots awarded to Copenhagen and Bayern.

United struggled throughout the tie with only handful of chances testing Manuel Neuer in goal. The dead-lock was finally broken in the 70th minute when Harry Kane played through Kingsley Coman to score the winner.

Following the result, Ten Hag remained up beat and praised his team despite falling out of all European competitions.

“We didn’t lose it [the Champions League group stage] today. We had some good performances, but we made some mistakes, individual errors from players. In the end, it’s not good enough, but I think today, the performance was, again, very good, and we didn’t deserve to lose. But we lost the game.”

Ten Hag’s comments ruffled the feathers of some United fans after the tie, leading to CBS Sports host Kate Abdo questioning: “If he [Ten Hag] says the team performance is ok, is the bar is set too low?”

The sentiment was agreed by former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, who replied: “Yes. And I think what happens is because it’s been so poor from Manchester United this season, and you are playing one of the top teams in Europe and you are missing injured players.

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Despite his claims, Carragher went on to explain that he does understand what the United boss was alluding to with his post-game reaction.

“But I think it’s probably a case of becuase you haven’t been beat 3-0 or 4-0, 1-0 actually feels ok,” he added. “And you’re in the game for an hour… but he [Ten Hag] is still probably thinking ‘Ok we are still in this game’ and it’s almost like a slight feel-good factor.

“But, I think what you said is right there Kate. Because I think when you lose 3-0 to Bournemouth and the weekend and you’re now playing one of the giants of football and you only lose 1-0, he’s trying to take something from it to then get to Sunday.

“Because I’m sure that will be the message tomorrow when he sees the players – ‘That wasn’t all bad, you’re playing one of the top teams in Europe, anything could have happened. Right, we’ve got to go to Anfield now to produce some sort of performance.’

“A result looks really tough on paper but I think that’s a manager just trying to clutch at straws.”

United will be hoping to bounce back from the defeat when they face a tough test in Liverpool next on Sunday at Anfield.

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