‘Only team in the world’ - Erik ten Hag makes extraordinary Man Utd claim after losing FA Cup final
The Manchester United manager also answered questions on David de Gea’s future.
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The Dutchman made the odd remark following the FA Cup final in which the Red Devils responded to Ilkay Gundogan’s volley after just 12 seconds and levelled from the spot via Bruno Fernandes. But Gungodan netted again at the start of the second period - again via a volley - to hand City a 2-1 victory at Wembley.
While Ten Hag was frustrated with the performance at Wembley he was pleased with his side’s ability to bounce back from that early setback. “I want to congratulate City for winning the FA Cup but I think it was very narrow, I thought it was end to end,” he said.
“We played very competitive despite of a very organised [opponent]. We didn’t allow them out from open play, against probably the best team in the world. We fought back from a goal down and I think we are the only team in the world who are capable of fighting back against this team, against City. I was happy with the performance of my team.”
David de Gea’s future will certainly be under the spotlight following another disappointing display for United, and the goalkeeper was responsible for Gundogan’s first volley, while he also didn’t cover himself in glory for the first strike.
Ten Hag was asked about what the future holds for De Gea this summer, and the Dutchman failed to strongly back his goalkeeper.
“In this moment I don’t want to talk about such issues about criticism, because we played all a great season, including David de Gea - he played a great season,” said Ten Hag. “If you consider that City before today had both 42 wins, so now they are one win more.
“The difference was made today and you can tell we played a fantastic season. There was more than we could have expected - third in the league, qualified for the Champions League, we won a cup and are in another final. So I am really happy with the performance of my team all over.”
Asked whether De Gea needs to improve with his feet, again Ten Hag failed to unanimously back the stopper. “Let’s say it like this, we are in the right direction but there are issues in the game what we have to improve definitely,” he replied. “If we want to make the next step and improve and win trophies.”