It may have been a friendly but Erik ten Hag was not happy at all with Manchester United’s result against Madrid on Saturday, saying that the 1-0 defeat was not acceptable and he has told his players.
The friendly was played in Oslo, Norway and Ten Hag tasted defeat for the first time as United manager, with Joao Felix scoring the only goal of the match.
It was a narrow defeat to a very good team, and it was not quite the starting lineup Ten Hag will want to field on a regular basis in the Premier League, but the Dutchman was very unhappy after the game.
Specifically, he had a problem with his team’s lack of efficiency in front of goal as he felt they created enough to at least get a draw, but failed to take their chances.
‘In the end it’s about the result, and the score was not good,’ Ten Hag told Manchester United club media. ‘You have to take benefits if you create chances.
‘I think we created many chances, to produce at least one goal and from less chances they create, they scored one — that point, I am not satisfied. I have told the team it is not acceptable, you have to be sharp in the box, both sides.’
However, Ten Hag did find positives, generally happy with the performance apart from taking the chances that his side created.
‘I think we contributed really well, I think the performance from our team was really good,’ he said.
‘Our game, our possession and transition game was really good. We created a lot of threat, had weapons, we create opportunities, so that part I was really satisfied.’
Anthony Martial was starting as main striker, as he has been throughout pre-season, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga either side of him and Bruno Fernandes behind.
The Red Devils are back in action on Sunday in Manchester when they take on Rayo Vallecano, and while supporters are excited to see Cristiano Ronaldo return to action in that game, they will not see any of the stars who started in Norway.
‘The players that played from the start will not come on tomorrow,’ said the United boss. ‘Tomorrow we will have a different start XI. There are players who came on [against Atletico Madrid] who can start tomorrow.’