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‘Unprofessional’: Ten Hag rages after Man Utd 7-0 loss

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has described his team’s second-half performance as “unprofessional” after their 7-0 drubbing by Liverpool.

Britain Soccer Premier League Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag gestures during his team's 7-0 loss to Liverpool.
March 6, 2023
By Simon Peach
6 March 2023

Erik ten Hag was furious with his side’s “unprofessional” display after Liverpool inflicted a 7-0 humiliation that equalled Manchester United’s heaviest-ever competitive defeat.

A week on from lifting the Carabao Cup and ending the club’s six-year wait for silverware, the Old Trafford giants were brought back down to earth with a bump by Jurgen Klopp’s Reds at a rocking Anfield on Sunday.

Cody Gakpo’s smart strike had Liverpool ahead at the break and nobody could have foreseen the way United would unravel as an even first half was followed by a shambolic second period.

Gakpo, Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah – who became Liverpool’s all-time leading Premier League scorer – ended the day with two goals apiece, with substitute Roberto Firmino completing a win that will live long in the memory of both clubs.

Sunday’s 7-0 Anfield annihilation equalled United’s record competitive defeat – against Blackburn in 1926, Aston Villa in 1930 and Wolves in 1931 – and infuriated Ten Hag.

“The result is quite obvious,” the Dutchman said. “It’s unprofessional.

“Today, first half, I think we were the better team. First half, we created the better chances and we had two one-on-ones with the goalie and they hadn’t.

“Then before half-time we make one mistake (in terms of) organisation and we concede a goal, so I think we were in the game.

“So, it was really a surprise for me that after half-time we so quickly gave the game away.

“First two goals, two defensive transition moments. First was a turnover, second was a counter.

“We make such bad decisions, a matter of decisions on the ball. That was with the first one obviously but then how we anticipate, how we concede that goal is really annoying.

“Then the third was a counter, also so unprofessional about decisions.

“Then it’s 3-0, then the game’s lost. Then as a team you have to stick together and that is what we didn’t do and that was a surprise for me.

“I haven’t seen this from my team I don’t think it’s us. I don’t think it’s Manchester United, so that’s really bad and poor.”

Ten Hag was seething as he spoke in the bowels of Anfield, telling the press conference that United’s players “didn’t cooperate anymore together and they didn’t fulfil their jobs” in the second half.

Asked if the players had offered an explanation about their second-half display, Ten Hag said: “No, I didn’t give them the chance until now. I think we have to talk about that.

“I have only given my opinion about it. We will talk about it tomorrow.

“But then I know this team will reset and we have to bounce back. We have shown in the past we can.”

“I have some (similar experiences in my career) that are the bad days,” Ten Hag said.

“But also (they) are the days if you do the right things, if you react with the right measures as a manager and as a team you can learn a lot from it, you can strengthen your mentality.”

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