Soccer

Ten Hag Frustrated by Controversial Calls as Man United Lose: ‘Many decisions were against us’

Manchester United's Dutch manager Erik ten Hag gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on September 3, 2023. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag expressed frustration over several refereeing decisions that went against his side in their dramatic 3-1 loss at Arsenal on Sunday.

Stoppage-time goals from Arsenal new boys Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus overturned Marcus Rashford’s opener to seal victory. But Ten Hag believed key moments favored the Gunners.

After reviewing the angle, he highlighted Alejandro Garnacho’s disallowed goal for a tight offside call as an incorrect decision. Ten Hag insisted it was “onside” and the “wrong decision.”

Earlier, Kai Havertz won a penalty that VAR overturned for simulation, but Ten Hag argued the German should have been booked for diving.

Specific Incidents Fuel Ten Hag’s Frustration

To Ten Hag’s frustration, another first-half incident where Rasmus Hojlund appeared fouled in the box also went unpunished.

The manager felt Rice’s decisive goal only resulted from a foul on Jonny Evans in the buildup. Overall, he believed “many decisions were against us.”

Manchester United's Dutch manager Erik ten Hag gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on September 3, 2023. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

Despite the controversial calls, Ten Hag maintained United produced the correct performance and created opportunities.

“The performance was right, but the result was not on our side, and many decisions were against us.”

Erik Ten Hag

Injuries to Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof further hampered United, but Ten Hag was upbeat about their display against the Premier League leaders.

“There were a lot of positives in this game, but there is still a lot to do.”

Erik Ten Hag reflected

Ten Hag expressed frustration over critical handling mistakes and decisions after stoppage-time goals determined the match score. However, he was encouraged by United’s ability to counter Arsenal’s vaunted press effectively.

But he knows converting those positives into points is imperative. After two early losses, dropped points due to perceived refereeing mistakes will frustrate United’s quest to make up ground on rivals.

However, Ten Hag believes clear improvement is evident in United’s performances despite the defeats. Channelling that into tangible results will be Ten Hag’s next challenge as United seek to climb the table.