Erik ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, attributed their 3-1 defeat to Manchester City to what he called “small margins.”

Ten Hag
Erik Ten Hag

The Red Devils took the lead with Marcus Rashford’s goal in the first half, but the match turned against them as Phil Foden netted twice, and Erling Haaland sealed the victory for City.

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Despite the loss, Ten Hag expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance, commending the players’ efforts and togetherness. He acknowledged that two players, Jonny Evans and Marcus Rashford, were not at 100% fitness but gave their all on the pitch.

The match had its share of controversies, notably the sequence leading to City’s equalizer, where Rashford was seemingly nudged off the ball by Kyle Walker without a foul being given. Ten Hag vehemently protested the decision and was booked by the referee.

Reflecting on the performance, Ten Hag noted the positive aspects, emphasizing the excellent defensive work against a formidable opponent like City. Despite the disappointment in the scoreline, he believed that, on another day, United could have secured a win.

The defeat marked the second consecutive loss for Manchester United in the Premier League, and they currently sit in sixth place, trailing 18 points behind their city rivals, Manchester City. Additionally, United faces an 11-point gap from the top four, crucial for securing a spot in the UEFA Champions League.

Looking ahead, Ten Hag remained optimistic about United’s progression and their chances to secure Champions League qualification. He acknowledged the need to accumulate points and win crucial matches in the remaining part of the season.

Bruno Fernandes, the captain of Manchester United, also weighed in on the match, highlighting the commitment shown by the team.

Despite facing a strong opponent, Fernandes pointed out that United had their chances and executed the game plan well. He recognized that small margins played a crucial role in the outcome and identified specific moments where the game could have swung in their favor.

United’s next challenge is against Everton, and another loss could see them endure a three-match losing streak in the Premier League for the first time since December 2015. However, both Ten Hag and Fernandes expressed confidence in the team’s ability to bounce back and compete for a top-four finish.