Erik ten Hag slams ‘unacceptable’ Man Utd showing against Unai Emery’s Aston Villa

Erik ten Hag shakes hands with Unai Emery Credit: Alamy
Erik ten Hag shakes hands with Unai Emery Credit: Alamy

Erik ten Hag has said Manchester United’s performance in their loss against Aston Villa was “not acceptable”.

Unai Emery took charge of his first Villa match and it could not have gone much better.

The Villans picked up an emphatic 3-1 victory, ending a run of 23 winless home games against the Red Devils.

Villa opened the scoring after five minutes before doubling their lead shortly after.

United pulled one back before half-time but the hosts put the game to bed early on in the second half.

Donny van de Beek started his first Premier League match of the season and Cristiano Ronaldo captained the side as the Red Devils fell to their first defeat since the 6-3 mauling at Manchester City on October 2.

Conceding so early in either half did not go down well with Ten Hag, who said that Villa looked “more fresh and more ready” than his players.

“We lost the game at the start of first half and second half and that is not acceptable,” Ten Hag said.

“They looked more fresh and more ready. We need to be more sharp. The result is really clear. It never lies. Today we were not good enough.

“We didn’t get the right organisation. We created chances and good chances at 2-1. But you are really disappointed to concede at the start of the second half.”

He added: “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.”

Left-back Luke Shaw says United did “expect” Villa to come out the traps fast, but he and his teammates could not handle it.

“We knew they were coming out with a new manager and a new feeling,” the England defender said.

“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 have always got to believe we can win games even when we’re 2-0 down. We conceded early in the second haldf 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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