Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has claimed that his side did not deserve to lose their UEFA Champions League game against FC Copenhagen on Wednesday.
The Red Devils were beaten 4-3 by the Danish club despite leading two-nil through a Rasmus Hojlund double inside the first half-hour of the match. But a 42nd-minute red card to Marcus Rashford turned the tie on its head, with the hosts drawing level before the first half was over.
Copenhagen went on to win the match 4-3 despite United’s best effort on the night.
Speaking after the game, Man United manager Ten Hag blamed refereeing decisions for the loss at Parken Stadium. The Dutch manager was unhappy with several decisions that have left the Old Trafford side bottom of Champions League Group A with their hopes of reaching the knockout stages hanging by a thread.
“The red card changes everything,” the manager said.
“I think when you freeze-frame it, it always looks so much worse, and as I say, it takes them so long, and they make a red card of it.
“Come on. The first 25 minutes, we dictated, dominated the game, went 2-0 up and then the red card changed everything. We are down to 10, and we are very disappointed.
Apart from the red card, Ten Hag also claimed that two of Copenhagen’s goals should not have stood, arguing that both saw wrong calls.
“We conceded two goals before half-time, which should never count,” he added.
“The first is offside; a player is in front of Andre Onana. The second is a penalty that’s very harsh. The ball on the hand, but it’s so close, and the hand is in such a normal position. He (Harry Maguire) went for the ball, and the ref needs such a long time. That is in four games, four penalties against us, and I say three are very debatable.
“I’m very disappointed about such decisions. The game is never meant to be like this. This has nothing to do with football.
“Decisions have to be made, I accept also wrong decisions are made by some at this level. Three such tough decisions (against FC Copenhagen). You control the game, and the game is never meant to be for that.”
Although his side lost, the former Ajax coach insisted he was pleased with the character shown by his players in the face of adversity.
“This squad is resilient, and the whole season, so many decisions are against us, so many setbacks for injuries,’ he added. ‘I said to the lads it will turn, one moment in the season it will turn in our favour.”