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Erik ten Hag blasts ‘unacceptable’ Man United Chelsea defeat

Erik ten Hag has blasted his Man United side for their collapse to Chelsea in the dying minutes of the game as he brands their game management ‘unacceptable’.

Man United and Chelsea put on possibly the most entertaining performance of the 2023/2024 Premier League campaign – a 7-goal thriller that was clinched in the dying seconds of extra time.

Pochettino’s men looked to have the game under their belt early on, taking the lead 4 minutes in via Connor Gallagher and doubling it just 15 minutes later via a Cole Palmer penalty kick.

The tables were turned on the home side, however, after Alejandro Garnacho took advantage of a Moises Caicedo error to take the scoreline to 2-1, and Bruno Fernandes levelling the playing field for United just 5 minutes later.

Man United began to take control of the game against Chelsea after Alejandro Garnacho struck back following a Moises Caicedo mistake.
Garnacho takes advantage of Caicedo’s mistake to strike back for United. Image credit: Manchester Evening News.

Erik ten Hag’s men went on to take a handle of the game, and despite a huge amount of chances on goal for both sides, looked to be the ones in control.

This culminated in the 67th minute when Garnacho found the back of the net again to take Man United 3-2 up at Stamford Bridge, set up by what has been described as ‘one of the passes of the season’ off the outside of Antony’s foot.

Numerous changes were made to both lineups via substitutions late in the game, and the dynamic control that United had enjoyed since levelling the scoreline seemed to dim itself as the game wore towards its conclusion.

An 8 minute chunk of additional time was added on to the official 90 which, as Chelsea man and match winner Cole Palmer said seemed to uplift the home side in the dying minutes.

A trip from Diogo Dalot in the final minute of that stoppage time saw the Portuguese defender off-balance Chelsea’s Noni Madueke to hand them a penalty at the last.

This was converted once again by Cole Palmer to level the scoreline once again, and this seemed to be the final undoing of Erik ten Hag’s side.

Less than minute later, Palmer lingered on the edge of United’s box as Chelsea prepared to take a corner kick. Unmanned and in acres of space, Palmer received the ball, and took his chance to blast it goalwards.

A deflection gave it the final touch it needed to soar past Andre Onana, and the was all she wrote. United were defeated at the last for the second time in a week.

Chelsea star Cole Palmer won the game late on against Man United after scoring a brace in the final minute of the match.
Cole Palmer’s late brace secured him a hat-trick, and Chelsea an emphatic win against Man United. Image credit: The Independent

Following his side’s undoing, Erik ten Hag had some choice words when asked to give his thoughts on the closing stages of the game at Stamford Bridge.

Ten Hag said:

“We started the game poorly but I had the feeling we were dominating. We got ourselves into a winning position, with some brilliant football, scoring some great goals and we didn’t manage the game in stoppage time.”

“You have to do your job. The players know their jobs and they didn’t make the right decisions. We didn’t react quickly enough. We have to make better ­decisions. We have to read when to keep the ball, to pass and move and switch the play when we are winning.”

“We made individual errors that cost us the game. We have to learn from it. When you are a Man United player you should already know how to deal with this circumstance. In five days we dropped five points. That is unacceptable. We gave away a game we should have won.”

Match winner Cole Palmer, a lifelong Man United fan, was also asked his thoughts after the game had concluded.

Erik ten Hag said his Man United side were unacceptable in the late stages against Chelsea and that individual errors lead to their demise.
Erik ten Hag blast his side’s ‘unacceptable’ game management against Chelsea. Image credit: The Mirror

Palmer said “It was madness. To win like that, there is nothing better. We thought when we scored the third goal the fans lifted us and I saw the gaffer say there were two minutes left and thankfully I scored. You know I have taken many penalties. I am not going to miss a penalty, touch wood. And to score in the very last minute is crazy.”

Ten Hag and his men must now prepare to go straight back into action when they welcome Liverpool to Old Trafford in the Premier League this Sunday, off the back of last night’s crazy defeat.

Chelsea meanwhile travel to a struggling Sheffield United, who currently sit flat bottom of the table with just 15 points to their name.