Erik ten Hag blames forwards for Man United's 2-0 defeat to Tottenham

Erik ten Hag blames wasteful forwards for Man United’s 2-0 defeat to Tottenham as he says their display in front of goal showed why they signed £72m striker Rasmus Hojlund

  • Man United were abject in the second half as they were beaten by Spurs
  • Erik ten Hag’s side missed glorious chances in their 2-0 loss on Saturday
  • WATCH: ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ – Episode 1 – Mail Sport’s brand new football show 

Erik ten Hag cut a frustrated figure after Manchester United suffered a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham and insisted their wasteful display showed why Rasmus Hojlund was signed.

The Red Devils went down in the capital on Saturday night after Pape Sarr slid home the opener in the 49th minute before Lisandro Martinez deflected the ball into his own net late on.

United could have easily been ahead by this point with Marcus Rashford denied by Guglielmo Vicario and Bruno Fernandes heading wide from six yards, while Antony curled against the post minutes after Sarr’s goal.

Tottenham did also create plenty of opportunities in the first half but stepped up their display after the break to earn new head coach Ange Postecoglou a maiden Premier League win.

It left United to reflect on what might have been and Ten Hag, who watched them claim a nervy 1-0 win over Wolves on Monday, pointed to injured £64million forward Hojlund as a reason for optimism.

Erik ten Hag was unhappy with his forward players after they missed chances in the 2-0 defeat to Spurs

Bruno Fernandes was guilty of spurning a glorious opportunity in the first half at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

‘You have seen today, the performance first half (was) very good, but you have to understand you have to score a goal,’ he insisted.

‘Because of the meaning of the first goal, players have to take responsibility. Focus, passion and desire in this moment to keep the overview and score the first goal.

‘It’s about belief and we believe these players because of last year as well. They can score goals.

‘But it is obvious why we signed a striker. If everything goes well, (Anthony) Martial is on (his) way back, Hojlund is coming, so we have more players capable to score a goal, but also the players on the pitch, they can score goals.’

Hojlund, who joined from Atalanta in a deal that could rise to £72million, is currently absent with a back injury and missed the Spurs clash.

Ten Hag named two goalkeepers on the bench with Harry Maguire out with a minor injury and Brandon Williams and Donny van de Beek also not considered due to the futures of the trio being uncertain.

He added: ‘Yesterday in final training, H (Maguire) was out with a small issue. So after September 1 everything can change, but we need players who are totally with their heads in our team.

‘I won’t say the players you mention, they are not, but it’s also obvious that in this moment they are looking for something else.

‘But when they are here they always do their best, every training (session).’

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