Erik ten Hag slams ‘stupid’ crossing tactic at Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United players in defeat

Erik ten Hag slams ‘stupid’ crossing tactic at Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United players in defeat

Erik ten Hag hit out at his Manchester United players for their “stupid” tactics as they fell to defeat against Aston Villa.

In Unai Emery’s first match in charge of the club, Villa beat the visitors 3-1 with a brilliant display, with goals from Leon Bailey and Lucas Digne putting them two up before Jacob Ramsey ensured his earlier own-goal did not spark a United comeback.

It’s a result that leaves United 12 points off table-toppers Arsenal, with just one Premier League match to go before the break for the World Cup.

Asked if it was a deliberate tactic to look for so many early crosses towards Cristiano Ronaldo as United struggled in the first-half, Ten Hag made it clear he was not impressed with what he saw.

“No, I think it was stupid to do that,” Ten Hag said.

“We delivered too many quick crosses in from too far away. There was too much forcing and we didn’t have to.

He added: “The result is clear, it never lies. In football you always get your own earnings. Today we were not good enough.”

United were two goals down inside 11 minutes as the home side made a flying start at a bouncing Villa Park, buoyed by the appointment of former Arsenal boss Emery.

Ten Hag’s side halved the deficit on the stroke of half-time but that momentum was halted just four minutes after the restart, as Ramsey restored the two-goal advantage and that proved to be the end of any United charge.

“We lost the game at the start of the first-half and the start of the second-half,” Ten Hag said.

“That’s not acceptable. You have to be ready for the game, we were not. They looked more fresh and more ready.

“We have to be more sharp and when I say the team, I’m involved as well.”