Omonia F.C. v Man Utd: Pictures
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Manchester United full-back Diogo Dalot insists that Erik ten Hag’s scathing criticism after losing to Manchester City didn’t hurt those in the dressing room. The Dutchman didn’t hold back when assessing the 6-3 defeat and the Red Devils bounced back with a crucial Europa League win on Thursday.
United were blown away by City last weekend as the rampant duo of Erling Haaland and Phil Foden each bagged hat-tricks. A pair of late goals saved the Red Devils’ blushes somewhat and took some of the edge off the scoreline but Ten Hag wasn’t about to let his players off the hook, delivering a brutal post-match interview.
“It’s a lack of belief,” said the former Ajax manager. “When you don’t believe on the pitch then you can’t win games: that is unacceptable. The plan was to show bravery and confidence but we didn’t from the first minute.”
Dalot was among those in red to play a full 90 minutes at the Etihad but, despite the dressing down from his manager, the Portuguese insists that ‘it did not hurt’.
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“I think this should be the standard of this club,” he added. “If you play for Man United you have to believe every single game. You have to have confidence as well but you have to take the responsibility that you’re playing for the biggest club in the world.
“This has to be normal for us but in a good way – not be overwhelmed with that but take it as a responsibility and this has to be the standard for every player not just the fans because they always demand everything but for us as well we have to demand.
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United put the defeat behind them on Thursday with a hard-fought win over Omonia Nicosia. The Cypriot side, managed by Neil Lennon, took a surprise 1-0 lead but Ten Hag rallied his troops at half-time with substitutes Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial instrumental in the subsequent comeback as the game finished 3-2.
“After a defeat like that it is always tough, but it is time to take responsibility and especially improve in some aspects which we should for the rest of the season,” added Dalot. “We had a lot of challenges today and we needed a response. The three points is what we came for and we are happy with that.”
The midweek Europa League tie gave Ten Hag plenty to ponder ahead of Sunday’s trip to Goodison Park. Everton come into the clash undefeated in their last seven matches across all competitions with Frank Lampard’s men firmly in their stride.
United fans will naturally be excited to see the next instalment in Martial’s comeback from injury, having scored after emerging from the bench in each of his last two matches. Rashford was also sharp against Omonia, netting twice as a frustrated Cristiano Ronaldo drew blank.
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