“It Is Not Acceptable” – Erik Ten Hag Blasts Manchester United Finishing Against Atletico Madrid

Erik ten Hag expressed his feelings against Atlético Madrid on Saturday about Manchester United’s poor finish in front of goal.

The Reds traveled to Norway to face the La Liga side and put in a solid performance, but it was the first game in pre-season where they couldn’t find the back of the net.

Although Jadon Sancho’s absence was palpable, Ten Hag’s team still managed to take advantage of opportunities, but they were wasteful in front of goal.

Anthony Martial, who was a star all through the tour, missed the lead with some good chances, Marcus Rashford could have done better too with his chance early in the game.

As he has done since he took office, Ten Hag recognized both the good and the bad of United’s performance in Oslo.

“I think it was a tough training session and I think we contributed really well, and I think our team’s performance is really good,” he told MUTV.

Credit: Manchester United
Credit: Manchester United

“In the end it’s about the result and the score is not good,

“And you have to take advantage when you create chances and I think we created a lot of chances, enough to score at least one goal.

“But we didn’t, and from the last chances they create, they score one. So at that point I’m not happy and I told the team it’s not acceptable. You have to be sharp in the penalty area, both sides.”

The manager’s demands are clear and high. United will certainly be looking for further improvement as they head into the Premier League season.

Cristiano Ronaldo will be one player who stands out in those comments. If he stays with the club this season, you would expect that Ten Hag would be happy to have him on the pitch as he is the club’s best finisher. The 37-year-old will face Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford on Sunday.

However, the Dutch manager was impressed by certain aspects of United’s performance.

The team attacked far into space and held the ball well against a strong opponent. But the overarching point that the manager conveys is that they must be able to play well and win. If they don’t, it’s not enough.

“I think what I’m saying, our game, our possession game, our transition game was really good,” he continued.

“So we create a lot of threat for them. We had weapons, we created opportunities, so at that point I was really happy.

“Also on a set we had a big chance from Harry Maguire and so we had enough, but it was not enough to win the game and that is always our goal.”

With just over a week until the new season begins, United were thrown into the least recognizable exhibition game ever.

Tackles fly, yellow cards are produced and finally a red card for Fred by the end of the match. It was anything but friendly.

Ten Hag appreciated the intensity of the affair, but added that some moments were certainly exaggerated as he wants to stay fit for the new season.

“Yes I like [it] competitive. But of course always with respect and I don’t want to have any injuries either, so that’s why you have to respect each other and I’ve seen some tackles that maybe went a bit over the limit.”

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