Ten Hag hits out at Man Utd lack of ‘desire’ after calamitous Europa League exit – ‘we gave it away’

Erik ten Hag managing Man Utd

Erik ten Hag has insisted that Man Utd only have themselves to blame for their collapse in the Europa League following their elimination by Sevilla.

Man Utd are out of the Europa League after a 5-2 aggregate defeat to Sevilla. Things were looking up for Man Utd last week when they took a two-goal lead in the first leg. However, own goals by Tyrell Malacia and Harry Maguire undid their work up to that point ahead of the second leg.

When the two teams reconvened in Spain, Sevilla put Man Utd to the sword. First, they pounced on a misjudgement by David de Gea and Maguire, which allowed Youssef En-Nesyri to open the scoring.

Then, in the second half, Loic Bade doubled their advantage before En-Nesyri took the tie out of reach with his second goal of the evening.

After winning the Carabao Cup recently, Man Utd will not be adding the Europa League to their cabinet. Instead, Sevilla have set up a semi-final tie with Juventus.

According to Ten Hag, the Spaniards showed more passion and desire than his own players, who in contrast simply were not ready – which he obviously found unacceptable.

Ten Hag told BT Sport: “We have to do better, that’s the demand. We were not composed, not calm. We didn’t beat the press. When you do there are so many spaces behind, and it was obvious at the start how to do it.

“We lost the battles. They had more passion, more desire, more willingness, that’s difficult to win games.

“We can’t run away from it. On Sunday we have another opportunity and have to step up and show more character and personality.”

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Ten Hag: They were not good enough

Man Utd were without some of their key players for the match, including usual starting centre-backs Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.

Ten Hag, though, pointed the attention towards those who came in – and weren’t good enough.

The manager continued: “It’s not about them [the players they were missing], it’s about the players on the pitch. They have to perform. I believe in them and trust them but they have to show it and they were not good enough.

“We have shown on so many occasions good things but tonight we weren’t ready for the game. At this level, playing for Manchester United, you have to be ready for every game.

“This was a great opportunity, a great occasion, to win something and we gave it away. We have to blame ourselves. It’s gone, we can’t change it. We have to look forward to Sunday; that’s the next opportunity.”

Man Utd are next in action on Sunday when they face Brighton in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. Ten Hag will be hoping it isn’t the end of another cup run in quick succession.