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Erik ten Hag admits United’s first-half display didn’t honor Sir Bobby Charlton properly

Erik ten Hag acknowledged that Manchester United’s first-half performance in their 2-1 win at Sheffield United did not do justice to remembering Sir Bobby Charlton.

United is in mourning for one of their all-time greatest players, Sir Bobby Charlton, who passed away at the age of 86 on Saturday morning. Goals from Scott McTominay and Diogo Dalot ensured that they honored his memory with a victory.

However, Ten Hag’s team looked far removed from the one that Charlton famously led to European Cup glory in 1968, as they displayed a lackluster performance against a team that had only earned one point this season.

Defender Dalot unexpectedly became the hero by salvaging their pride with a 20-yard curling goal 13 minutes before the end of the match, following Oli McBurnie’s first-half penalty that had canceled out McTominay’s opening goal.

Ten Hag said: “We are happy we did that, we have to pay attention and do it in a good way and first half I think it wasn’t the standard for Sir Bobby Charlton and the second half was a bit better.

“But of course the news arrived and we are very sad and our thoughts are with his family and especially his wife Lady Norma, his children and his grandchildren.

“I heard some players got some inspiration from it and they wanted a win to mark it. It was an extra motivation, absolutely.

Aside from ten Hag even Sheffield boss tributed Sir Bobby Charlton

“But the first half was not a good game. We can talk long or we can talk short, it was a poor game from our side and you see it often after internationals, especially us with so many changes, the routines are not there. But In the first half we allowed them to make it their game.

“We were too direct, no good organisation, second half we made some changes and you saw we got better, we were more composed and kept the ball.

“We controlled the game and created the chances and then finally we deserved the win and it was a beautiful goal.”

Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom began his playing career at Old Trafford as a teenager and remembers Charlton fondly.

“He was there the day I signed as a 14-year-old,” he said. “He is a man that represented everything that United wanted to be, certainly in terms of developing youth players and getting youth players into the first team.

“It is not only Manchester United that will miss him, English football and I think he was a football icon across the world as well, so there will be a lot of people remembering him, stories they have heard, games they have seen.”

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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