‘I don’t get it’ – Peter Schmeichel baffled by Erik ten Hag decision in Manchester derby
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‘I don’t get it’ – Peter Schmeichel baffled by Erik ten Hag decision in Manchester derby

Mar 5, 2024

Peter Schmeichel was left stunned by Erik ten Hag’s in-game decisions in the Manchester derby on Sunday.

Manchester United were beaten 3-1 by Manchester City at the Etihad despite Marcus Rashford putting the visitors ahead with a stunning strike.

Schmeichel was baffled by some of decisions by Ten Hag

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Schmeichel was baffled by some of decisions by Ten HagCredit: Getty

Phil Foden ramped it up after the break to bag two wonder goals before Erling Haaland wrapped up the result late on but City were largely in control of possession throughout the match.

However, some were left perplexed by Ten Hag’s decision to take off Kobbie Mainoo, Jonny Evans and Rashford when United needed to react to City going a goal ahead just before the hour mark.

That included Schmeichel, who played for both clubs and was speaking to Jeff Stelling and Ally McCoist on talkSPORT Breakfast on Monday.

The goalkeeping legend said live on air: “I thought as the game progressed that the team fell in a little too deep. For my liking, I would have pushed them up a little bit.

“And also then, when you need to change the game and they have equalised and scored again, the substitutions that you make.

“You take all your pace out, you take your driving force out of midfield off? You take your best defender off?

“I don’t get that. Are they being rested for the next game? I really don’t get the substitutions.

“When you look what Pep’s doing, he is only taking off two players. Generally, he doesn’t substitute a lot.”

Mainoo was another player who was taken off by Ten Hag in the Manchester derby

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Mainoo was another player who was taken off by Ten Hag in the Manchester derbyCredit: Getty

Sofyan Amrabat and Antony came on for Mainoo and Rashford respectively but had nightmare cameos while rookie defender Willy Kambwala replaced Evans.

But Ten Hag has explained his decision to take off the trio, insisting that they were already out on their feet and playing through injury.

Erik ten Hag defends Manchester United’s performance after their 3-1 loss to Manchester City in the Manchester derby

“Yeah. I had to take them both off,” the Dutchman said in his post-match press conference.

“They fought to be part of this game but after 60 or 70 minutes we had to take them off and sub them, Jonny was playing the backline brilliantly, and Rashy was a threat, not only goalscoring.

“I think he had three or four moments where he could’ve scored, and he scored the first one; he could’ve scored even more.”

United’s defeat is their 11th in the Premier League already and the top four might be a stretch too far this season now.

Schmeichel weighed-in on the decisions in the Manchester derby

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Schmeichel weighed-in on the decisions in the Manchester derbyCredit: talkSPORT

However, finishing in the top six might be their priority now and they face Everton and Sheffield United next in consecutive home matches in the league.

And Ten Hag is hoping that his players will be recovered by the time they appear next at Old Trafford.

The United coach added: “We’re working on players returning, and I think players will return in the coming weeks, especially after the international break.

“Hopefully Jonny Evans and Marcus Rashford is not too bad, that they recover, and we can use them in the next game against Everton.”

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