Arsenal v Manchester United: Premier League clash in pictures
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Some Manchester United fans are unhappy with Erik ten Hag for his treatment of Alejandro Garnacho in Sunday’s defeat against Arsenal. Ten Hag has been criticised for his reserved second-half approach before United conceded late to succumb to a 3-2 loss at the Emirates Stadium.
The Red Devils boss lined up more attacking than many expected, with Scott McTominay the only somewhat defensive-minded midfielder in the team.
Casemiro was absent through suspension after his untimely yellow card in Wednesday’s draw at Crystal Palace, but Ten Hag didn’t overthink his replacement.
McTominay started alongside Christian Eriksen in a double midfield pivot, with Fred on the bench, leaving United open but competitive in the first half.
But after Lisandro Martinez made it 2-2 on 59 minutes, the game plan seemingly changed and sitting back proved costly for the second time in five days.
United attempted to hold onto the draw with attacking personnel and nearly did until Eddie Nketiah netted his second of the afternoon to win it at the death.
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And the approach left many calling for Ten Hag to introduce Garnacho so that his side could threaten more on the counter-attack.
But he waited until the second of three minutes of stoppage time after Nketiah’s winner to call on the 18-year-old winger, leaving him no time to make an impact.
The Dutchman’s decision frustrated many fans on social media, who made their annoyance over his decision known.
After Arsenal’s winner, @bethTmufc tweeted: “That’s why you shouldn’t play for a draw. Garnacho should’ve been on the pitch 25 minutes ago.”
@FourFourJordan wrote: “The fact Eriksen stayed on for as long as he did is mind-boggling. Was ghosting that whole second half. Garnacho would have pinned them back out of fear too. First game I think ten Hag was poor.”
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@umirf1 said: “All in retrospect but Garnacho LW, Rashford RW might’ve made more sense once Antony went off [in the 71st minute].”
@AbdulGH_ added: “That Fred X Garnacho sub was needed from early. Eriksen has been poor at the start of the 2nd half like City.”
Despite his reduced role at the Emirates, Garnacho will likely be in line for minutes over the next nine days, in which United play three crucial cup games.
The Red Devils host Reading in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday, between two legs against Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup semi-finals.
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