Ten Hag hails depth of Man Utd squad amid quadruple push
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Manchester United youngster Alejandro Garnacho has faced the fans before many of his senior team-mates by publicly apologising for Sunday’s 7-0 humbling against Liverpool. Fan favourites Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez have both remained silent since the humiliating result, which manager Erik ten Hag branded ‘unacceptable’.
The Red Devils suffered a second-half onslaught at Anfield as Liverpool rattled in six goals after the break. Cody Gakpo had already put the hosts 1-0 up by the interval and he grabbed his second before long with Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino also among the goals.
Despite the emphatic scoreline, the two sides were expected to contest an even match on Merseyside with United in good form and fresh from their Carabao Cup victory. The result was made worse by the magnitude of the occasion and the bitterness of the rivalry.
United defender Raphael Varane screamed at some of his team-mates for failing to applaud the travelling fans after the game, while others are yet to address the result publicly.
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Neither Casemiro nor Martinez, who are both heralded as key difference-makers under Ten Hag, have spoken out on the painful loss, which was United’s joint-heaviest defeat in a competitive match.
Garnacho has, however, with the 18-year-old Tweeting: “We are so sorry. We will give you a reaction on Thursday, Reds.” United only have a matter of days to dust themselves down before facing Real Betis in the Europa League last 16.
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The Red Devils had won four on the trot prior to Sunday’s mauling, including victories over Newcastle at Wembley and at home to La Liga high-flyers Barcelona. Ten Hag attempted to ease fears after the final whistle by pinning the result on a second-half capitulation after watching his side compete early in the game.
“If it was more often [then] of course [I would be concerned] because it is a pattern,” said the Dutchman. “But we had so many good results in the last weeks and months, so many good performances and this was a really bad performance.
“And then I talk about the second half because the first half, I think this team, our team, played really well, played really decent.
“I have had some bad days, but also there are days where if you do the right things, if you react with the right matches, as a manager and as a team, you can learn a lot from it and you can strengthen your mentality.”
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