'Very expensive' - Ten Hag delivers verdict on Manchester United Champions League hopes after Chelsea defeat

United have dropped some expensive points in the Premier League latelyUnited have dropped some expensive points in the Premier League lately
United have dropped some expensive points in the Premier League lately
Man Utd face an uphill struggle to qualify for the Champions League after their dramatic defeat to Chelsea

Erik ten Hag insists Manchester United will 'keep fighting' in their quest for Champions League qualification but admits they have dropped some 'very expensive' points over the last two matches.

A top-four finish would guarantee Champions League football next season, though it is also very likely that a fifth-place finish would due to the current Uefa coefficient rankings. It is easier said than done. United are currently sixth in the Premier League, nine points behind Tottenham in fifth, and 11 points off the pace set by Aston Villa, who are fourth with just six matches remaining.

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United's qualification hopes were dealt a huge blow this week after they conceded deep into stoppage time to draw with Brentford and let in two late goals to improbably lose at Chelsea on Thursday night.

It has left United with an uphill challenge to qualify for the competition and Ten Hag is well aware of just how difficult it will be for his side to do it.

"In this week we have dropped five points in stoppage time and that is very expensive," he told reporters after the Chelsea defeat. "The points are getting more expensive because the games are running out, we know that. We have to catch up and we are many points behind so it will be difficult but we will keep fighting and I’m sure you’ve seen our team has character. They showed today they are resilient and I’m sure they will go on Sunday and fight against Liverpool.

"Need to be perfect? Yeah but that’s also what they said before this match."

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United have struggled for consistency all season and will have to raise their game when they host fierce rivals Liverpool in the Premier League this weekend. Ten Hag’s side recorded a famous win over Jurgen Klopp’s side when they met in the FA Cup last month and he is still confident that his side can play at the level required to beat the very best.

He added: “For me personally I have to manage the game and I have to manage the team. We have quality and some great players. We can play at very high standards which we have seen today and we have seen against Liverpool that we can compete with the best and beat the best teams in the Premier Leauge. When you beat them in the Premier Leauge you can do it across Europe but we need to learn how you win games. For example Saturday was an example in how you need to get over the line and get three points so we have to make better decisions individually and as a team.”

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