Erik ten Hag reaction: ‘Unacceptable’ the buzz word for Man Utd boss as players lack ‘responsibility’

Erik ten Hag Aston Villa v Man Utd Credit: Alamy
Erik ten Hag Aston Villa v Man Utd Credit: Alamy

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag blasted his players for not taking responsibility and being ready for fast starts to each half from Aston Villa in the 3-1 defeat Villa Park.

Unai Emery enjoyed a dream start to life in the Villa hotseat as meek United fell to their first Premier League loss at Villa Park since 1995 on Sunday afternoon.

A run of 23 winless home league games against the Red Devils stretching 9,941 days came to an end on Sunday as Steven Gerrard’s successor oversaw a 3-1 victory in his first match in charge.

Leon Bailey struck and Lucas Digne scored a delightful free-kick within the opening 11 minutes at a rocking Villa Park, where Jacob Ramsey atoned for deflecting in a Luke Shaw strike by scoring a fine effort just after half-time for Emery’s elated side.

The result ends United’s nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions. It also sets up an interesting reunion in the Carabao Cup on Thursday.

And speaking after the game, Ten Hag told: “It’s not acceptable that you concede a goal so quickly in the second half on the counter. Our players are experienced. You have to read the game and get right the organisation. Not concede two goals [early in the game] – that’s totally unnecessary.

“You have to win your battles. At the start of the game we could have been better on ball. It starts with the players following the rules.

“It looked like they [Aston Villa][ were fresher. That’s not acceptable.

“Players have to take responsibility and be ready.”

Shaw rues slow United start

United defender Luke Shaw felt a slow start cost his side, adding: “We knew they were coming out with a new manager and a new feeling. We did expect it. But in games like this, if you start slowly in the first 20 minutes then you are going to lose.

“We were not good enough. We’ve always got to believe we can win games even when we’re 2-0 down. We conceded early in the second half and it’s a mountain to climb after that.

“If you watch the game back, you’ll see we made a sloppy start. They were finding spaces and pockets and turning with ease. That is not good enough. We didn’t deserve to win.”

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