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Ten Hag on Galatasaray draw: Defending ‘not good enough’

Erik ten Hag has criticised Manchester United’s defending during the club’s 3-3 draw at Galatasaray after his side squandered a two-goal lead in Istanbul.

Manchester United are on the brink of Champions League elimination after a pulsating draw at Galatasaray, one which saw the visitors twice hold a two-goal advantage before dropping points.

The result comes after a collapse to lose at Copenhagen last time out and leaves the Red Devils in need of favours elsewhere – alongside a win over Bayern Munich in their final fixture – to progress.


Alejandro Garnacho and Bruno Fernandes fired United into an early lead in Turkey, but Hakim Ziyech pulled a goal back after a mistake from Andre Onana. Scott McTominay’s goal put the visitors back in control, but another mistake from Onana saw Ziyech score a second free-kick.

Kerem Aktukoglu’s superb equaliser levelled for Galatasaray and neither side could find a winner despite end-to-end chances. Ten Hag was disappointed with his side’s inability to see out the result, but shouldered some blame for the draw.

“We were winning and then we’re losing it. We should have taken three points, that’s clear. We did this in other games. I was pleased with how we played but at the same time I have to criticise the team because the defending is not good enough. We are leading 3-1 and we cannot afford mistakes as it makes a difference.

“Every goal has its own story. Whether it’s a transition moment and we don’t block the middle or the second goal which is a free-kick and the third goal we are organised but have an overload. That cannot happen. We have to learn from that.

“I am very pleased because you see the style of this team which is pro-active, dynamic and brave. I was pleased with the performance because we created so many chances but at the same time we have to win this game.”

On who is to blame for Manchester United squandering leads, he said: “It’s always me. I am responsible for this. We know we are in a project. We are making improvements so that’s very hopeful. We are going in the right direction so I know we will be successful in the long-term but if you want to stay in the Champions League you need to win these games.”

Read – Noughties Nines: Filippo Inzaghi and the glee of goals

Read more – Fernandes criticises costly goals in chaotic Man United draw

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