Erik ten Hag pins blame for Man Utd defeat in scathing assessment of Palace loss

Erik ten Hag oversaw an embarrassing defeat away to Crystal Palace. (Image: Getty)

Erik ten Hag was quick to pin the blame on his Manchester United backline following the Red Devils’ humiliating defeat away to Crystal Palace. The United players served up a dismal display in south London, with Palace registering their first-ever league double over the record English champions.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the Dutchman said: “So there are always reasons, everyone can see our backline. We have huge problems. But at the end of the day, we have to deal with it and we should have done better than we did.

“We give really clear instructions on how we should defend this and they didn’t bring in the whole pitch and we got hammered. That was one issue, but also on the left side, there were two players doubling up… it was very poor defending.”

Casemiro was just one of several United stars who struggled at Selhurst Park, with the midfielder-turned-defender looking out of his depth in the United backline. But despite the £70million man’s shaky showing, Ten Hag didn’t want to pin the blame on one individual.

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It was a night to forget for Manchester United in south London. (Image: Getty)

He said: “You can’t put this on one player, it’s a team performance. The throw-in, when we concede the first goal, that shouldn’t happen. That’s on the team.

“We don’t follow their [Palace’s] rules. We don’t adapt, it’s like a different situation. To organise, to keep control of that situation. Five players over the ball and they have a throw-in, it’s not possible.”

The result leaves United languishing in eighth place, at risk of missing out on European football next season. The three-time European champions have three games of the Premier League season remaining, with Newcastle United and Chelsea also in the mix.

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On his side’s chances of qualifying for Europe, Ten Hag said: “We know that [the result is damaging], especially when you get to the end [of the season]. But still we have nine points to play for and we have to fight for the nine points.”

While on his future at Old Trafford, Ten Hag commented: “I will keep fighting. I prepared the team in the best way I could do. It was not good enough, by far not good enough and I take responsibility for that. But I will find the energy and I will prepare them for Sunday’s game.”

United return to Old Trafford for their penultimate home match of the season on Sunday, as they look to dent Arsenal’s title challenge. After that, it’s a mid-week clash against Newcastle, before United’s season concludes with a trip to Brighton & Hove Albion on May 19.