Erik ten Hag issues blunt Liverpool response after Man Utd move within one point of Champions League qualification
Erik ten Hag has been speaking after Manchester United all-but secured Champions League qualification with an away win over Bournemouth.
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United all-but secured their Champions League spot on Saturday after a hard-fought away win over Bournemouth. Casemiro found the net with an acrobatic effort after nine minutes, and the Red Devils pushed for another but were thwarted by a solid Cherries back-line, largely failing to hit the target despite managing 20 shots overall.
The Red Devils may not have been expecting to take such a big step towards a top four finish on Saturday, but Liverpool drew with Aston Villa at home and required an 89th minute strike from Roberto Firmino just to get a point. That result means United need just a point from either of their last two games to make their top four finish official. As things stand, Ten Hag’s men are three points ahead of Liverpool - who have just one game remaining - although they do have a far inferiour goal difference.
Speaking to the BBC about the win over Bournemouth and United’s big step towards Champions League, Ten Hag said: “The only criticism is we didn't kill off the game, we had to produce that second goal but that's the way this team are. It is not easy scoring goals.
"It was a great goal from Casemiro. We pinned them back, didn't let them breathe in the first 25 minutes. David de Gea made a mistake a few weeks ago but everyone can make mistakes. We defend with 11, that's why we have so many clean sheets. David made some great saves.”
He added: "I don't care what happens in Liverpool, it's about us. We have to do the job."
If - and perhaps when - United get their final point in the bag, they can then concentrate on preparing for the FA Cup final with Manchester City, though they will want to attempt to jump above Newcastle United to finish third. It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that third place will only have a monetary value for United, who will be seeded above both Arsenal and Newcastle United in the Champions League group stage draw due to their superior coefficient ranking.