“I Hate To Say It” – Ten Hag Explains What Went Wrong Against Newcastle

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag acknowledges the fans before the match.

REUTERS/Toby Melville

Newcastle showed they wanted to win “more” against Manchester United, as they moved above the visitors into third place on goal difference with a convincing 2-0 victory at St James’ Park.

The hosts started the game on the front foot, dominating possession and forcing David de Gea and United defenders to kick the ball long with their high-pressing. Newcastle were equally energetic in the middle of the park, won duels more often than not, and looked to quickly catch the unsettled opposition.

United didn’t manage a single shot on target in the first half, while Newcastle tested De Gea’s goal several times. The Spaniard’s double save in the 16th minute and his own lack of composure in the 40th minute kept Joe Willock without the goal heading in the first half.

But after the break, Willock and his teammates’ efforts paid off. After brilliant work from Bruno Guimarães and Allan Saint-Maximin, the former Arsenal man nodded home from close range to give Newcastle a deserved lead.

United never looked like coming back into the game. Rather, it was Newcastle who continued to create good chances and doubled their lead late through Callum Wilson.

It was a one-sided affair, with United ending the game with just one shot on target.

In what was an honest assessment of his player’s performance, Erik ten Hag said: “I hate to say it, they were better today. Especially in determination, passion and desire. They wanted to win more this week. So they won.”

According to Sky Sports, Newcastle made 134 sprints compared to United’s 93. Eddie Howe’s men certainly benefitted from a mid-season training camp during the international break. United stars, meanwhile, played like they haven’t trained much together in the last two weeks.