Erik ten Hag allows no hiding for Man Utd pair who had to do better in key moments against Chelsea; gives coy response on Varane injury
Erik ten Hag paid Manchester United a “big compliment” after their draw with Chelsea, although he felt there was one faltering aspect of their play that could have led to a different outcome.
Manchester United made use of some late drama to clinch a point against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. They fell behind in the 87th minute after a Jorginho penalty, which came as a result of Scott McTominay carelessly hauling Armando Broja down in the box as a corner came in.
It looked like a critical error that would have cost his side a point. However, while the spotlight will still be on McTominay’s wrongdoing, it turned out that Manchester United were still able to draw the match.
Casemiro rose for a header at the other end in the fourth minute of stoppage time. It just crept over the line, as confirmed by goalline technology, despite the best efforts of Kepa Arrizabalaga to keep it out.
Thus, after a pair of 1-1 stalemates last season, the trend of Manchester United drawing with Chelsea continued. Consequently, Ten Hag’s side remain in fifth place, one point behind their opponents.
However, they could have cut the distance to the Champions League places if their finishing was better. Indeed, they ended the game with more than double the number of shots that Chelsea had.
With that in mind, Ten Hag pointed to misses by Marcus Rashford and Antony as moments his side had to make more of in a game of such stature.
Ten Hag told BBC Sport: “I have to make a big compliment to my team. To fight back with a fourth game in 10 days, you see the spirit and how they deal with setbacks. Really good.
“First half Rashford had two big chances, Antony one against one. You have to score goals in such moments because in top games three chances is massive. You have to score.
“We dictated the game and I am happy with that. If you concede a goal late it is difficult.
“Eight minutes before half time we had some troubles but defence in the second half we didn’t have troubles. The second half we didn’t really create big chances, but also Chelsea didn’t.
“I think it is a fair result. I would have been disappointed if we had gone without a point because we didn’t deserve that. At the end of a tough week to come here, you bring the point home.”
Ten Hag coy on Varane injury
One blow for Ten Hag and Manchester United was an injury to Raphael Varane in the second half.
The centre-back appeared to be in tears as he walked off the pitch. However, for Ten Hag, it is too soon to know the extent of the injury.
He explained: “It is difficult to say how it is now because it is so soon after the game. We have to wait 24 hours and then we will know what it is.”
It will be an anxious wait for Varane given that the World Cup is only one month away. Ten Hag may have his own concerns, since Manchester United have five more games to fulfil before then.
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