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regular-article-logo Monday, 26 February 2024

Erik ten Hag takes blame for Manchester United squandering another lead

United blow a two-goal lead twice in Istanbul, with goalkeeper Andre Onana making two costly errors, to leave their hopes of reaching the last-16 hanging by a thread

Our Bureau Istanbul Published 01.12.23, 08:34 AM
Erik ten Hag.

Erik ten Hag. File picture

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said he was responsible for his side throwing away yet another lead in the Champions League after they were pegged back to a 3-3 draw with Galatasaray on Wednesday.

United blew a two-goal lead twice in Istanbul, with goalkeeper Andre Onana making two costly errors, to leave their hopes of reaching the last-16 hanging by a thread.

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United’s new goalkeeper — signed from Inter Milan for £47.2m to replace long-standing No 1 David De Gea in the summer — also committed a howler at Bayern Munich in September and made a dreadful pass which resulted in Casemiro seeing red against Galatasaray at Old Trafford a fortnight later — before falling to ground early as Mauro Icardi netted the late winner.

United are bottom of Group A with four points from five matches but still just one point adrift of Copenhagen and Galatasaray.

They need to beat Bayern and hope Copenhagen and Galatasaray draw when they meet on December 12.

Both Copenhagen and Galatasaray still have the opportunity to advance, with either team joining Bayern in the last-16 with a victory.

If United beat Bayern, a win would take them to seven points.

United let a two-goal lead slip in an earlier group game in Copenhagen before losing 4-3 and Ten Hag said their inability to see games out was down to him.

“It’s always me (who is to blame for throwing away leads). I am responsible for this, but also know we are in a project,” the Dutchman told TNT Sports.

“We are in the right direction, so I know where we have to go and which steps we have to take and I’m sure we will be successful in the long term.

“If we want to stay in the Champions League, we have to win the next game.”

Ten Hag was confident they would find a way to stop conceding so many goals.

United are tied with Celtic for the second-worst defensive record in this year’s Champions League, with 14 scored against them.

Only Antwerp in Group H have conceded more (15).

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta praised his side swept RC Lens aside 6-0 on a freezing night in north London.

“I didn’t even dream like this,” Arteta told reporters.

“We had the chance to qualify today (Wednesday) and be top of the group and I think we’ve done it in a really convincing way.

“The team from the beginning showed a lot of aggression and determination to go for the game. Everything happened in the right way in the first 30 minutes.”

Arteta said his side had been showing a similar form at home.

Written with inputs from Reuters

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