Erik ten Hag has warned Manchester United that they should get rid of Giardia after a 3-2 defeat at Premier League leaders Arsenal.
Each of Arsenal’s goals followed defensive errors as United failed to clear their defensive lines, and a last-ditch attempt at play from behind gave the Gunners a possession that saw Eddie Nketiah win in the 90th minute.
Fourth-placed United are 11 points behind Arsenal after Sunday’s result and hopes of a title challenge are futile.
It was always unlikely that United would be aiming for the trophy, but two botched strikes on their last legs in London over the course of five days dealt their hopes a major setback.
United conceded a goal in stoppage time at Crystal Palace on Wednesday, which meant they drew 1-1, while this defeat at the Emirates Stadium adds to that disappointment.
“I think the two games are head-to-head, very close, it’s hard to accept that you end up losing in the final leg of the game,” Ten Hag said.
“It can’t be and we have to accept it, we have to learn the lessons. All three goals we could and should have avoided. We are usually better in these situations.”
In this match, Arsenal scored 63 touches in the penalty area of Manchester United.
— Opta Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) January 22, 2023
Manager Ten Hag told Sky Sports he doesn’t feel pressure from Arsenal lately has made it inevitable that they score a third goal.
“I do not think so. We are good in these situations and it’s hard, it’s quite obvious,” Ten Hag said. “In this situation, we have to defend much better. We make bad decisions, and not one player, but many more players, and then you concede a goal, and I said that you need to avoid the same thing as in the first two goals.
United shot through Marcus Rashford and then leveled with a header from Lisandro Martinez after Nketiah and Bukayo Saka gave the Gunners the lead.
Nketiah’s second shot, a close-range strike, was Arsenal’s reward for fighting hard for a winner as United lost control of the game.
“We started the game very well, scored a goal and led the score, and then made unacceptable mistakes,” added Ten Hag. “We have to learn the lessons and move on.
“We will face it in front of the players because it can’t be. Good players don’t make those mistakes.”
7 – Lisandro Martinez is the seventh Argentine player to score in the Premier League for @MJ, now the most clubs (also Carlos Tevez, Juan Sebastian Veron, Angel Di Maria, Marcos Rojo, Gabriel Heinze and Alejandro Garnacho). Harbor. pic.twitter.com/wpW2zNzY03
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 22, 2023
Asked if the result could serve as a reality check, Ten Hag replied, “Maybe. Today we have to admit that we are unhappy with the defense because we can play better.
“We took a 1-0 lead and the game is starting very well. Then we need to take advantage of this situation, and it can not be that we conceded a goal, as we did.
“This is one game. Last week we performed very well and kept the opponent from our penalty area. If we had been in the penalty area, we would have defended much better. Usually we don’t concede from corners, but today there were two.”
When it was mentioned that United had made progress this season, Ten Hag said he could see it, but it was no consolation.
“We understand that too,” he said. “I just said the same words in the dressing room, but also said that if you want to win, you can’t make the mistakes I just mentioned.”