Ten Hag slams Man Utd flops for 'not following the rules' against Villa after getting caught like rabbits in headlights | The Sun

ERIK TEN HAG ripped into his Manchester United side after Aston Villa deservedly beat them 3-1 on Sunday afternoon.

After 11 minutes, the Red Devils looked as stunned as Gary Neville getting a grilling on his World Cup role on Have I Got News For You.


United boss Erik Ten Hag must have been expecting some sort of new manager bounce with Unai Emery taking charge of Villa for the first time.

But his post-match analysis would also suggest he was far from surprised by the slow start from his side – which culminated in them going 2-0 down within a quarter of an hour.

Speaking after the game, Ten Hag said: "After a long time this has happened, I said it was up to us.

"We didn't keep the ball, we didn't get the right organisation, didn't follow the rules and lost battles."

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Ten Hag has garnered a reputation as a strict operator since coming into Old Trafford – typified by him axing Cristiano Ronaldo from the squad after his refusal to come off the bench last month.

And you imagine he will now bring the hammer down on his players after they failed to follow his instructions at Villa Park.

The other bad news for United is that they face Villa again in four days time as they are drawn together in the Carabao Cup.

United left Harry Maguire on the bench after Thursday’s Europa League tie at Real Sociedad.

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But Ten Hag’s defence was stretched by the likes of Leon Bailey – who United struggled to deal with – Ollie Watkins and Jacob Ramsey.

It was Bailey’s pace that led to the opener – and then it was panic stations for a while as Luke Shaw fouled Ramsey and Lucas Digne converted the free-kick

At that point, another Brentford-style scoreline seemed possible.

You have to wonder how much the absence of the suspended Bruno Fernandes was a factor.

In his absence, it was Ronaldo who was handed the armband, despite the fact that he downed tools from the bench in the recent match with Spurs.

But – apart from having a diving header saved by Villa keeper Emi Martinez’s legs – the Portuguese legend was at his most animated when he got involved in a grappling match with Tyrone Mings.

United should have made more of the fact that they looked capable of turning the game around before the break.

A bit of luck – when Shaw’s shot hit Ramsey’s backside and flew in – should have been the catalyst for a fightback.

Instead, Villa nipped it in the bud and United were found wanting after that.

Again, United were found guilty of allowing Ramsey all the space he needed to score.

Ten Hag’s triple substitution after 65 minutes told its own story with Shaw, Donny van de Beek and Alejandro Garnacho all taken off.

It meant that this United is the first to lose at Villa Park in the Premier League for 27 years.

That was when Villa won 3-1 and Alan Hansen said on Match of the Day that night: "You’ll win nothing with kids."

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The rest is history and United will want to bounce back from this defeat as soon as possible – with Fulham at Craven Cottage their last Premier League fixture before the World Cup.

Bad day at the office for Ten Hag’s men. This one belonged to Emery.

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