Erik ten Hag labelled Manchester United’s performance against Liverpool as ‘unprofessional’ as the Red Devils lost 7-0 Anfield on Sunday.
United suffered their joint-worst league result in the club’s history in a shambolic display that saw David de Gea concede six goals in the second half. Ten Hag’s men had trailed by just one goal at the break following a competitive first period, with Cody Gakpo netting just two minutes before the interval.
Yet two goals in the opening five minutes of the second period set the tone for United, with Gakpo adding another in addition to braces from Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah, before Roberto Firmino came off the bench to add a seventh in the latter stages.
Ten Hag was livid after the match and opined, while his side had actually been better in the first period, the collapse after the break was unacceptable.
“It is quite obvious, it is unprofessional. I think it’s a huge difference to Brentford [where] we were 4-0 down at half-time, we started the game very bad. Today, first half, I think we were the better team - first half, we created the better chances. We had two one-on-ones with the goalie and they hadn’t.
“Before half-time we made one organisational mistake and we concede a goal, so I think we were in the game. It really surprised me after half-time, we gave the game so quickly. First two goals were defensive transition moments, the first was a turnover and the second was a counter, bad decisions and decisions on the ball, how we anticipate and how we concede a goal is really annoying.
“The third was a counter and so unprofessional decisions, not following in, and then running in, moving forwards, giving space away in midfield, not tracking back.
“So then it is 3-0 and the game is lost, then as a team you have to stick together. That is what we didn’t do. It is a surprise for me, I didn’t see this from my team. I don’t think it is us. I don’t think it is Manchester United. It was really bad and poor. They didn’t cooperate together anymore and they didn’t fulfil their jobs.”
Despite that, Ten Hag said he views this result as a one-off. “So far, if it was more often then it’s a pattern, but we had so many good results in the last weeks, months, so many good performances,” he said. “This was a really bad performance, and I talk about the second half, because first half, I think this team, our team, played really well, played really decent.”