‘Manchester United players have been eaten out alive’
Following Manchester United’s 7-0 drubbing at Anfield on Sunday, manager Ten Hag among former players came down heavily on their ‘embarrassing’ performance.
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag called his side’s performance “unprofessional” after their worst league loss since 1931 on Sunday, 7-0 to Liverpool at Anfield.
“The result is quite obvious. It’s unprofessional,” said Ten Hag, whose side had been riding high a week ago after winning the League Cup final against Newcastle United, with talk of them making a late push for the Premier League title.
Trailing 1-0 after Sunday’s first half, United unravelled after the break.
“We were so unprofessional about decisions… moving forward, giving the space away in the back, in the midfield, not tracking back… then it’s 3-0, then the game goes,” Ten Hag told a news conference.
“But then, as a team, you have to stick together. And that is what we didn’t do. And that was a surprise for me. I haven’t seen this from my team. I don’t think it’s Manchester United. So it’s really bad and poor.”
Former United captain Roy Keane said it was a “shocking day”.
“The senior players were embarrassing. They didn’t show any leadership skills,” he said.
“A really tough day for Man United and thank goodness I have never been part of losing like that. The players will be ashamed; when the going got tough, they went missing.”
“I see the players come here today in the second half, having a laugh and a joke. They’re 1-0 down at Anfield and they’re having a laugh and a joke with the Anfield staff, goalkeeping coach. I don’t like to see all that rubbish.
“I think that circus can creep back in, and the manager and senior players have to keep an eye on that.”
United arrived at Anfield unbeaten in 11 games, including their League Cup victory and a come-from-behind win over West Ham in the FA Cup.
Ten Hag said they played a “decent” first half but things turned bad after halftime.
“They didn’t co-operate any more together, and they didn’t fulfil their jobs,” the Dutchman said. “There are many things… it makes me angry, to concede goals so easily.”
Ten Hag said United, who host Real Betis in the first leg of a Europa League round-of-16 match on Thursday, needed to learn from the loss.
“We had so many good results in the last week, months. So many good performances. And this was a really bad performance.”
Manchester United’s defender Luke Shaw told MUTV: “It was completely unacceptable.”
“Our standards have clearly dropped since we won that trophy, and in the last couple of games we haven’t been our normal selves.”
United conceded six of the seven goals in the second half as Cody Gakpo, Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah all scored twice for Liverpool.
“We need to find the good things we were doing before and bring them back because this hurts a lot, and it’s really unacceptable what we did in that second half,” Shaw added.
“We showed no personality and no mentality.”
Former United captain and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville described the defeat as a “shambles”.
“They’ve not understood the dangers of this fixture. The Manchester United players have been eaten alive out there,” Neville added.
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