Ten Hag expresses disappointment as Man Utd lose at Brighton
Manchester United lost 1-0 to Brighton on Thursday night, with Luke Shaw’s handball at the death costing his side dear. The England international seemed to channel his inner Paul Scholes during the match at the Amex Stadium, with the legendary Red Devils hero previously doing the same during a Super Cup match with FC Zenit in 2008. And Shaw was full of remorse after the game, though also took aim at his team-mates.
Shaw’s handball for United had echoes of Scholes as Erik ten Hag’s side missed out on the chance to leapfrog Newcastle into third in the Premier League table.
Back in 2008, with United losing 2-1 to Zenit, Scholes decided to volley the ball into the net using his hand.
It was a decision that saw the 48-year-old receive his marching orders, having previously picked up a yellow card, and was even more baffling upon watching the replay.
Fast-forward to now, it’s a similar case with Shaw.
Though the United star didn’t attempt to score with his hand, instead trying to parry the ball to safety, it was still a startling decision nonetheless.
Shaw didn’t have to do that. Instead, he seemed to have a big lapse in concentration – having given away a controversial free-kick that led to the goal.
After the game, the former Southampton star fronted up.
“Like I said, they’re a brilliant team,” the England international told club media after the game.
“They are where they are because they deserve to be there.
“But, I think if we look at the big chances we created in that first half, I think the game should be much more comfortable and if we score goals, then it makes life easier.
“I think, like I said, it’s not just today. It’s been in many of our games this season.
“But yeah, there’s obviously no excuses. I was the one that obviously made the mistake at the end.
“So, I take it on the chin and of course I know I’m disappointed.”
United are still prone to the odd individual mistake at the back, something Ten Hag will need to rectify as his side look to finish the season on a high.
There’s no need to overreact, of course. The Dutchman said as much, saying: “The last five games, we had four wins, one draw. We were in a good run, we are improving.
“But we still have a way to go. We have to stay focused. We have everything in our hands, and we have to bounce back.
“We have to take the lessons from tonight and then we move on and we go to West Ham. Then we have to bounce back.”
Shaw’s moment of madness prevented United from continuing their unbeaten run.
Yet it was still a solid display from the England international at centre-back as he continues to adapt to his new role.
Meanwhile, Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi claimed there was a ‘god of football’ after seeing his side claim all three points.
“I am really happy, really delighted for the performance, for the result,” he told Sky Sports.
“I think there is a god of football because we deserved to win in the semi-final and we lost on penalties, here we won with a penalty for us. Both games I think we played better than United and the last result was unfair.
“We played a fantastic game, we dominated the game against one incredible team, one great team. But I think my players deserved to win.”
The Brighton boss added: “We are to play another six games, six very tough games.
“And on Monday we will play the first game, very tough against Everton, and we have to win because if we do not win against Everton we lose these three points.”
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