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Ten Hag reckons Man Utd ‘defended very well’ against Arsenal as he gives team news ahead of Cup semi-final

Erik ten Hag believes Manchester United ‘defended very well’ despite defeat against Arsenal and has provided team news ahead of the club’s EFL Cup semi-final at Nottingham Forest.

United’s ten-game unbeaten run came to an end with a 3-2 defeat at Arsenal on Sunday, as Eddie Nketiah’s 90th-minute winner condemned the Red Devils to defeat in north London.

 

Ten Hag was critical of his side’s performance in the immediate aftermath of the loss and called for improvement, but believes his team were solid ‘in general’ for much of the contest. However, the Dutchman re-iterated that each of the goals conceded were avoidable and said his team must learn their lessons from the loss.

“I think a lot of games we did very well, we had a lot of clean sheets, against Man City we defended very well,” he told his pre-match press conference.

“In general, also against Arsenal we defended very well, they didn’t get clean shots, there was was one time from a free-kick. There was a lot of defence between the ball and the goal.

“All the goals were avoidable and that’s my point, it cannot happen. When you concede three goals in a top game you can’t win, that’s one of the conclusions. We have to take this lesson.”

United’s trip to face Forest in their semi-final first leg will continue a hectic schedule for Ten Hag’s side, who will face ten fixtures – in the Premier League, Europa League and both domestic cups – across the next 32 days.

The Dutchman said the congested schedule is a result of his side’s success in competing on four fronts and is hopeful the Red Devils can end a six-year wait for silverware this season.

“As you said, it’s obvious we are successful, we are in a good direction, not successful for the moment because in January you don’t win trophies, in February you can win one. We have to aim for that and go for that. It’s more about getting in the right positions in April to go for trophies.”

Ten Hag also provided an update on the fitness of his squad and confirmed that Diogo Dalot, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho remain unavailable.

“No, all the players who were not available for Arsenal game, so Dalot, Martial, Sancho are also not available for tomorrow.”

Read – Premier League weekend: Five things we learned

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