Erik ten Hag reacts to humiliating defeat to Liverpool
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Manchester United hero Paul Scholes has opposed his former team-mate Gary Neville and leapt to the defence of Red Devils attacker Bruno Fernandes. Fernandes came in for heavy criticism on Sunday as United were humbled 7-0 against Liverpool in the Premier League at Anfield.
Fernandes captained his team on Merseyside but was powerless to prevent Liverpool racking-up goal after goal. He was ultimately labelled as a “disgrace” by Neville due to his body language and behaviour during the match. But Scholes has provided the Portugal international with an unlikely ally.
“I actually feel sorry for him when he’s played,” Scholes told Premier League Productions after the match. He’s been pushed out to many positions to do a job for the team. He was on the left today, he’s been on the right, he’s played through the middle – he has been a little bit all over the place.
“You can’t say any of the players performed the way they should have done but I thought he was especially poor today, it wasn’t his greatest afternoon. But I think there are a couple of players in that team that when it comes to big games like this I don’t think they’re quite at the level.”
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Neville watched on as part of his role for Sky Sports as Liverpool embarrassed their north west rivals. And during the match he took aim at Fernandes as he said: “Bruno Fernandes is asking why it’s not him [coming off]. Honestly, some of his behaviour has been a disgrace, [even if] he’s been brilliant at times, his assists and goals.”
The former right-back later acknowledged: “The second half has been a disgrace, a shambles, epitomised by Fernandes who has been embarrassing at times. It’s not their usual performance, spirit or form. [Erik ten Hag] will deal with it.”
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And he added: “I start with the captain. You don’t throw your hands up, you run back. I’ve had enough of him throwing his arms up at team-mates and not running back. He got pushed in the chest and goes down holding his face. I think Ten Hag will deal with him very strongly in the next 48 hours. It was a disgrace.”
Ex-United midfielder Roy Keane agreed with Neville as he hissed: “Fernandes’ body language today was disgraceful. He’s a really talented boy, he’s your captain. But his body language, waving his arms not running back, you wouldn’t be happy with him.”
United’s defeat at Anfield all but ended their Premier League title aspirations as they finished the day 14 points behind leaders Arsenal. And Ten Hag’s focus could now turn to the cup competitions, with a Europa League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup treble still on the cards.
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