Erik ten Hag said he was ‘disappointed’ with three referee decisions as Manchester United lost 4-3 to Copenhagen on Wednesday in the Champions League.
Despite leading 2-0 with 45 minutes on the clock, and holding a 3-2 advantage going into the last 10, United came away from the Danish capital with nothing to show for their efforts. The Red Devils were excellent in the early stages of the game and grabbed a two-goal lead with a brace from Ramsus Hojlund.
But Marcus Rashford’s red card for standing on the ankle of Elias Jelert saw Copenhagen take the ascendancy, with two late goals in the first half meaning it was level at the break. United defended well in a low block in the second period, and Bruno Fernandes’ converted penalty seemed to have handed United a vital three points.
Yet sloppy play at the back saw the hosts net in the 83rd and 87th minutes, as Copenhagen earned a 4-3 victory on a dramatic night at the Parken Stadium.
But speaking after the match, Ten Hag wasn’t happy with the red card decision, or Copenhagen’s first two goals. The Dutchman seemed to imply an offside Elias Achouri interfered with Andre Onana's line of vision for the opener, while he disagreed with the referee that Harry Maguire's handball in the box should have been punished.
“We are very disappointed because you play very good,” he said. “We started the game so good, the best minutes of this season.
"We are winning the game and I think the red card changes everything and then we concede two goals before half-time that should never have counted. First one is offside and the second is [not] a penalty. That is, in four games, four penalties against [us] and I think three are very debatable.”
Asked for his view on Rashford’s dismissal, Ten Hag said: “It’s also harsh. He went for the ball and the referee had such a long time to make it a red card.
“When you freeze it, it looks worse. It takes them so long and they make a red card out of it. I am so disappointed with such decisions and I think the game is never meant to be like this.
“This has nothing to do with football. Decision have to be made and I accept that wrong decisions are made, but at this level, three such tough decisions… You control the game, I think the game is never meant to be like that.”