Man United boss Erik ten Hag praised Sevilla after their 3-0 loss to Europa League specialists, claiming, “They had more passion, more desire, more willingness”
Erik ten Hag was critical of Manchester United’s lack of passion, desire, and willingness after they were knocked out of the Europa League quarter-finals by Sevilla.
In the first leg, United scored two own goals late on, which left the tie level at 2-2. In the second leg, they put on another poor defensive performance and lost 5-2 on aggregate at the Roman Sanchez Pizjuan stadium.
Youssef En-Nesyri scored two goals for Sevilla after mistakes by Harry Maguire and David de Gea in Ajax’s Europa League quarter-final exit.
Manchester United was missing some key players like Bruno Fernandes, Lisandro Martinez, and Raphael Varane, but Erik ten Hag criticized their lack of passion, desire, and willingness to perform well in the game.
Ten Hag demands United to ‘do better’
“We have to do better, that’s the demand. Man Utd were not composed, not calm,” he told BT Sport. “We didn’t beat the press. When you do, there are so many spaces behind, and it was obvious at the start how to do it.
“We lost the battles, they had more passion, more desire, more willingness. That’s difficult to win games.
“It’s about the players on the pitch. They have to perform. I believe in them and trust them, but they have to show it, and they were not good enough.
“We have shown on so many occasions good things, but tonight we weren’t ready for the game. At this level, playing for Manchester United, you have to be ready for every game.
“This was a great opportunity, a great occasion, to win something, and we gave it away – we have to blame ourselves.
“It’s gone, we can’t change it. We have to look forward to Sunday [against Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup semi-finals], that’s the next opportunity.”
Eriksen claims they were too emotional
Christian Eriksen acknowledged that Manchester United failed to perform well as they missed the chance to reach the semi-finals for the third time in four seasons.
“A lot of things happened. We didn’t really give them a game from the first minute. And we gave them a lot of opportunities to finish us off,” the midfielder said.
“We lost a bit of our coolness, we made more mistakes than we usually do. And the whole team could not catch up with mistakes our team-mates made.
“If you give away goals like we did, you lose, it’s nothing to do with the atmosphere. Our own game was not strong enough. It’s football, sometimes you have good days, sometimes you have bad days, and it was a bad day.
“Every football player makes mistakes, they punished us straight away. It’s how we bounce back, and today we were not strong enough to bounce back from the mistakes.”