Erik ten Hag suggested that “you do not always get what you deserve” after Man Utd did not do enough to finish top of their Europa League group.
United needed to beat Real Sociedad by two goals on Thursday night to pip them to the top spot in Group E.
The Red Devils were on track to do that as they went in front inside the opening 20 minutes. Alejandro Garnacho raced away from his marker and found the roof of the net with his effort after being played in by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Man Utd were left frustrated in the second half though as they were unable to add to their advantage.
Ten Hag tried everything to find a second goal. In what was a sight to behold, Harry Maguire was brought on as a makeshift striker late on.
Ultimately, this did not work as United were only able to win 1-0. They will now have to play in a Europa League knockout round play-off against a side who have fallen out of the Champions League in finishing third in the group stages.
Potential opponents for Man Utd in this two-legged tie include Ajax, Barcelona and Juventus. Ten Hag stated after his side’s win that Garnacho “was a threat” and he was “really happy” with the teenager’s performance.
“You do not always get what you deserve,” Ten Hag told BT Sport.
“Today we win and I am happy with that and some other things like the performance of Alejandro Garnacho, and Donny van de Beek is back in the team.
“Of course, we are disappointed we didn’t score two goals.”
On Garnacho: “We had problems there. Antony was out and Jadon Sancho was not available. I really hope he can keep the process going. He was a threat. If he can keep this going, I am really happy.
“It was a great finish, it was a great attack. It was really enjoyable.”
On his substitutes and changes: “The aim was to bring extra offensive players in. At that moment we were too erratic. The last 10 minutes we got the ball in the box and created a good chance. We had to take risks.”
Bruno Fernandes thinks United played a “great game” against Real Sociedad even though they failed to achieve their “main goal”.
“Our goal for today was winning the game by a two-goal difference. I think we did a great game. In the end, we took more risks but it was a great win against a tough opponent,” Fernandes added.
“We knew that we had to take more risks in the second half. We did that. It meant they could get more chances because had fewer people defending.
“We didn’t concede so that’s another clean sheet and that’s really important for us. Our main goal was to finish first. We have to fight good teams at any stage of the competition if want to win it.
“I play wherever the coach needs me to play. I try my best to help the team.”
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