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Ten Hag: Easy win made ‘difficult’ by Man United at Luton

Erik ten Hag has criticised Manchester United’s lack of focus in the club’s ‘difficult’ 2-1 win over Luton.

The Red Devils got off to a dream start at Kenilworth Road as Rasmus Hojlund scored twice inside the opening seven minutes, with the Dane breaking the deadlock inside 37 seconds.

Amari’i Bell’s defensive error was punished for the opener as Hojlund stole the loose ball and fired home, rounding Thomas Kaminski before converting for the sixth straight Premier League game.

 

Hojlund’s second made it seven goals in his last six league appearances, as the 21-year-old instinctively deflected in Alejandro Garnacho’s effort with his chest.

Carlton Morris pulled a goal back seven minutes later for a spirited Luton, who put sustained pressure on the visitors for long periods.

Rob Edwards’ side continued to push forward and United struggled on occasion, with both Casemiro and Harry Maguire substituted at half-time after being booked for rash challenges.

Kobbie Mainoo was again a standout with maturity in midfield, as the Red Devils held on and claimed an important away win to move within five points of the Champions League places.

Ten Hag reflected on the performance from his team and admits there was a loss of focus from his players after their quick-fire start.

 

“I think quick up and, as you say, we had good chances with Garnacho and Rashford, it could have been three or four-nil,” The Dutchman told BBC Match of the Day.

“After that we lose some focus and we are not so strict in what we should do and they came more in the game. We dropped too deep and allowed them too many passes.

“We gave some chances away and they got the 2-1. That’s no good. But after half-time we picked it up. We had several chances. So many chances one against one. I think it was Garnacho, Rashford again, it was Bruno Fernandes. We had so many chances, it should be 3-1 in these moments.

“Their goal brought the pressure on. They had crosses into the box and shots, but not the chances we had. We had big chances and with our abilities, we should have scored.

“It can always happen, a cross or a corner, you can concede if you don’t execute the 3-1.

“We make the progress but also you see we have to stay focused during the whole game. I will not say switch off, but when you do a little bit less, than you get punished.

 

“We can’t afford this. We have to be all-time 100% focused. Do your job together, in and out of possession and then you can control your games. What could have been an easy win was now a difficult win.”

Read – Hojlund says he has a lot of confidence amid scoring streak

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