Bruno Fernandes and Lisandro Martinez reportedly led an angry half-time Manchester United rant after they went 4-0 down to Manchester City.
United’s recent progress came to a shuddering halt with an eventual 6-3 defeat to their cross-city rivals on Sunday. Phil Foden and Erling Haaland both scored hat-tricks in a convincing result.
Man Utd did score three goals in the second half, but they only came after Pep Guardiola’s side stormed into a 4-0 lead.
According to The Sun, though, the goals from Antony and Anthony Martial also came after Portugal midfielder Fernandes and summer centre-back signing Martinez ‘raged’ at half time in the dressing room.
Fernandes reportedly claimed his team-mates ‘lacked belief’ that they could affect City in any way and get a result.
Argentina defender Martinez echoed that sentiment, inspiring a three-goal second half for the Red Devils.
The report adds that Fernandes in fact shouted so loud that City officials could hear his frustration from elsewhere in the Etihad Stadium.
Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag followed on such criticism from Fernandes and Martinez on Monday.
Ten Hag, Bruno Fernandes instilling Man Utd progress
He allowed his players to openly criticise each other – and the Dutch coach himself – in order to keep the squad honest and able to progress.
There were signs of progress before United’s defeat to City. They won four Premier League games in a row, keeping two clean sheets on that run.
The Red Devils return to action on Thursday when facing Cyrpus-based Omonia in the Europa League.
United recovered from an early setback in Europe – a defeat to Real Socidead – by defeating Sheriff Tiraspol 2-0 in their second group stage game.
Ten Hag will be looking to inspire similar progress in the Premier League when United play Everton on Sunday.
United have chance to refocus
Thursday’s switch to Europa League action will offer a chance for Man Utd to refocus and get back into form.
They should encounter no problems against Omonia and it will be a chance for players to exercise their demons.
It will also be a chance for Ten Hag to improve on his tactics.
Gary Neville feared before Man Utd’s defeat to City that United needed to improve when having more possession – not just focusing on playing on the counter-attack. And those fears were realised.
United will no doubt have more possession against Omonia and can look to improve in that area.
Elsewhere, it is a chance for fringe players to cement their calls for more minutes.
Martial could well start on Thursday after his brace against City. Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo will want minutes after staying on the bench at the Etihad Stadium.
Ahead of Sunday’s return to Premier League action at Goodison Park, Thursday’s trip to Cyprus can act as a catalyst for getting back on track for the Red Devils.