Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Big Ten Hag sack claim made as Man Utd legend tears into ‘terrible’ performance despite late win


Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel thinks Erik ten Hag could have been sacked by the Red Devils if they lost to Brentford at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Ten Hag came under pressure as Man Utd boss following consecutive home defeats against Crystal Palace in the Premier League and Galatasaray in the Champions League. And the Dutchman may have been fearing for his job when Brentford took the lead in the 26th minute.

Casemiro had given the ball away in the centre of the pitch and this allowed Brentford to pounce. Victor Lindelof also failed to clear his lines before Matias Jensen finished past Andre Onana with a low left-footed shot. Onana probably should have done better, meaning it is another mistake for the summer signing to deal with.

Man Utd went into the break 1-0 down. In the second half, Ten Hag made several substitutions, bringing on the likes of Christian Eriksen, Antony and Alejandro Garnacho.

In the 87th minute, he turned to midfielder Scott McTominay. And the Scotland international repaid that faith by incredibly netting two injury-time goals to hand Man Utd a memorable 2-1 win.

In the third minute of stoppage time, McTominay fired into the bottom corner on his right foot following good work by Garnacho on the left flank.

READ MORE: Ten Hag hails one ‘fabulous’ Man Utd star after last-gasp home win; sends players ‘hunger’ warning

And four minutes later, McTominay sent the Man Utd crowd wild when he headed in off the post, which came after Harry Maguire won the first aerial challenge from a long free-kick.

During an appearance on SuperSport (07/10, at 17:18), Schmeichel reacted to the game by criticising Man Utd for their poor display.

Man Utd were ‘terrible’ against Brentford, says pundit

“To be honest, I think they played a terrible game today,” he said. “There was no inspiration, no energy, no imagination, nothing.

“In the end, he [McTominay] comes on in the 87th minute, with his energy, and [he] just tries things, you know. He ends up scoring two goals and shows everybody else up.”

When analysing Man Utd’s equaliser, the five-time Prem champion added: “You need a bit of luck sometimes and there’s a bit of luck involved here. Brentford don’t clear it, the goalkeeper doesn’t keep it. And then it ends up with McTominay, who scores.”

Schmeichel was then asked how important the win will be for Ten Hag ahead of the international break. He suggested the former Ajax boss could have lost his job if it weren’t for McTominay’s heroics.

“The mood will change at the club, for sure, because you end this spell before the international break with a win,” he said. “Had that been another defeat, some rash decisions might have been made. You never know, it’s football. I’ve seen managers lose their job on that kind of run.

“I think now it’s a little bit more calm, with the international break some injured players might come back and it might be the excuse to move on.”

Man Utd losing a third home game in a row certainly would have been cause for concern. Although, Man Utd sources have repeatedly explained how the club intends to stick with Ten Hag for the long run, so perhaps they would have held firm and kept him in place.

Ten Hag will be hoping Man Utd can build on this result after the international break. Man Utd’s first game back is against struggling Sheffield United on Saturday October 21.

Meanwhile, there has been an update on Mason Greenwood’s future, with the Man Utd attacker poised to choose between two sides.