Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag admits that his side’s lack of goals is “concerning”, but won’t be returning to the transfer market to mend it.
The Red Devils were shut out by Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday afternoon despite having 22 attempts on goal. A strike from Pape Matar Sarr and an own goal from Lisandro Martinez gave the Lilywhites their first Premier League win of the season.
Although Man United were outplayed by Spurs in the second half, Ten Hag preferred to emphasise the positives from their display while claiming they deserved a penalty in the first half. Alejandro Garnacho saw a shot blocked by the arm of Cristian Romero, but no spot kick was awarded following a VAR review.
“You make a face, you don’t like the first half? I like the first half, it was a very good performance from Manchester United in the first half, except, we have to score,” the Dutchman told Sky Sports.
“We created good chances, we had a really good press on the ball, we let them run, we had many good switches, we had many good chances to score a goal, and we deserved a penalty. I don’t know why it’s not. Absolutely a penalty. He changes the direction of the ball and his hand is blocking high above. But okay, you have to accept it.
📸 – NO PENALTY given for Manchester United! pic.twitter.com/37fVSiaMOy
— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) August 19, 2023
“We quickly got three bookings, we had to stay focused, this can’t happen, they were unnecessary bookings. And then we switched off. In one attack they had two big chances, they twice hit the post.
“The start of the second half was not good, it was totally unnecessary to concede the first goal, and from that moment on, it’s the meaning of the first goal. But, we didn’t collapse, but we didn’t score.
Ten Hag, who was booked late on in the contest, continued: “I am not concerned with our attacking play but I am by our scoring. We know this, that is why we’ve signed a striker. It is one game, on Monday the performance was not good but the result was there. Today the performance was okay but we have to win here. We take the positives, but also know to keep the belief.
“When you lose it’s never good. You always have to look in the mirror and yes we have to score. We have to make the goal and quieten the crowd and opponent. In the first half it was so quiet in the stadium because we took away their belief. If you score, the game is ours.”
Ten Hag added that Man United do not plan on making more signings to add goals to the team. “It’s not about adding to the team. It’s about, we have to score goals.”