Erik ten Hag Stands Firm: United’s Manager Dismisses City’s Dominance Despite Derby Defeat

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Erik ten Hag, Manchester United’s manager, stood firm in his assessment following their 3-1 defeat against Manchester City, dismissing suggestions of a significant gap between the two sides. Despite Marcus Rashford’s early goal providing United with a promising start, City ultimately dominated proceedings, with Phil Foden’s brace and Erling Haaland’s late goal securing victory for Pep Guardiola’s men.

Ten Hag highlighted key officiating decisions that he believed could have altered the outcome of the match. He pointed to a potential foul by Kyle Walker on Rashford before Foden’s first goal and questioned the fairness of Ederson’s challenge on Alejandro Garnacho in the build-up to City’s second goal. Despite City’s overwhelming dominance in terms of possession and shots, Ten Hag emphasized the fine margins that determined the outcome.

Acknowledging United’s injury woes, Ten Hag remained optimistic about their competitiveness when fully fit. He referenced their close encounter in the Cup final against City as evidence of their potential to challenge the reigning champions. However, he conceded that City currently stands as the best team in the world. “You can see we have many problems with injuries and still we had an opportunity. Really small margins. I will not say it was a tackle from Kyle Walker. They both ran and Rashy confirmed to me there was contact and I have seen it back – was very soft. But when you are in a full-speed run and you get a little touch and then you are out of control,” Ten Hag says [Source : The Guardian].

Looking ahead, Ten Hag emphasized the importance of remaining focused on their upcoming fixtures and aiming to secure a fifth-placed finish, which could potentially offer a route to the Champions League. “”It can be an advantage that fifth spot can also be a Champions League spot, so we have to go for it and win our games,” Ten Hag said. With Tottenham Hotspur holding a six-point advantage over United, Ten Hag stressed the need for his side to maintain their momentum and capitalize on any opportunities that arise, including the upcoming clash between Tottenham and Aston Villa.