Erik ten Hag criticised his Manchester United players for their lack of composure after a 3-0 defeat to Sevilla sealed their elimination from the Europa League on Thursday evening.
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United registered one of the worst displays of the season in Spain as Sevilla ran out deserved winners at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.
The tone for United’s woeful display was set after just eight minutes as a poor decision from David De Gea to pass to an under-pressure Harry Maguire was punished by Youssef En-Nesyri, who put Sevilla in front from close range.
The Spanish club, buoyed by an electric atmosphere created by the home supporters, were close to going 2-0 in front by half time as Lucas Ocampos’ excellent finish was ruled out for a tight offside in the build up.
Sevilla didn’t let up after the break and doubled their lead two minutes after the restart as a corner was met by by Loic Bade’s shoulder, and the ball looped over De Gea into the net.
United’s miserable evening was complete with nine minutes to go as another error from De Gea, this time a poor control from a high ball forward, gifted En-Nesyri with his second of the game.
United now face a trip to Wembley on Sunday where they play Brighton int he FA Cup semi final.
‘We have to do better, that’s the demand,’ Ten Hag told BT Sport after United’s defat to Sevilla.
‘We were not composed, not calm. 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.
‘We can’t run away from it. On Sunday we have another opportunity and have to step up and show more character and personality.’
When asked if United felt the absences of Bruno Fernandes, Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane, Ten Hag replied: ‘It’s not about them, 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, that’s the next opportunity.’
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