Man United didn’t follow plan in Palace thrashing – Ten Hag

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Erik ten Hag vowed to keep fighting as Manchester United manager, but said his players did not follow the “plan and script” in their 4-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Monday.

It was United’s 13th Premier League defeat this season, their worst ever return. The defeat leaves them in eighth, out of the qualification spots for Europe, and the alarming manner of the defeat only served to increase the pressure on Ten Hag, who said this defeat was lowest point of the season.

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United were without new absentees Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay and Harry Maguire for the trip to Selhurst Park, leaving them with a makeshift centre-back combination of Casemiro and Jonny Evans. And Palace pulled them apart, with Michael Olise scoring two brilliant goals in either half, Jean-Philippe Mateta slotting home a brilliant effort and Tyrick Mitchell also tapping home.

When asked on Sky Sports postmatch if he was the right man for the job, Ten Hag replied: “Absolutely. The right players are there. We have a good squad.”

He added: “I will keep fighting. I prepared the team in the best way I could do. It was not good enough, it was by far not good enough. I have to take the responsibility for that. But I will find energy and I will prepare them for Sunday’s game.”

But Ten Hag did admit this defeat was a bitter blow. When asked if this was the lowest point of the season so far, he answered: “Yes. It was very poor how we give the goals away, especially when we prepare the team and the conceding of the first goal is very disappointing. How easy and the easy giveaways.

“That shouldn’t happen and certainly not in the circumstances we are in because we have problems but then we have to help each other out.”

They were forced to field a makeshift defence, with Ten Hag admitting Evans “wasn’t ready for the game” as he made his comeback from injury. But he was left disheartened by the manner of defeat to Palace, where United were comprehensively outplayed.

“It is very disappointing. Under-performing. Definitely the worst defeat,” Ten Hag said. “We should have done better. We are aware as a team performance, we were not correct, making big mistakes and not following the plan and the script. And the rules we have. Of course also individual mistakes, but then we should cover each other which we didn’t do. We let each other down and then you get a worst defeat.”

He added: “This was the fourth defeat in 2024, so far, you have always seen a team that was following a script, we had a lot of wins and hard to beat, and today we weren’t hard to beat. Yes I am sure they had the right intention, they were eager from the start, but once we were playing we didn’t perform, individuals didn’t perform and as a team, we didn’t perform.”

Ten Hag also said he wished the players had shown the same passion as the travelling support.

“The fans were magnificent,” he said. “They were behind the team — they see the problems we have and I am happy with their support and we should’ve had taken their fighting spirit into the pitch.”

For Crystal Palace, this victory continues their superb run under Oliver Glasner, with the team winning four of their last five top-flight matches.

“Congrats to the team for this win and for the 4-0 at home to Man United,” Glasner said on Sky Sports. “I think the first half, we didn’t really play well as we could, so it was not that consistent. The defence opened the middle too often and they could find the pockets and we had a little bit of problems, but we were very efficient, so we scored a very nice goals.

“Then, at half-time, we made two or adaptions and the players listened again and in the second half, we were much better and were in much more control of the game. We created a lot of chances, we scored nice goals, but we were a little bit more consistent in our basics and so, it’s a great win and congrats to the team.”

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