Frustrated Ten Hag admits 'Man Utd want to be number one' after failing to top Europa League group

By Sports Desk November 03, 2022

Erik ten Hag admits Manchester United were left "disappointed" after failing to top their Europa League group, despite a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad on Thursday.

A triumph by two or more goals would have seen United advance as Group E winners by virtue of a superior head-to-head record over La Real.

Alejandro Garnacho's 17th-minute goal gave United hope, but that proved to be their only shot on target during a lacklustre display at the Reale Arena.

Ten Hag, whose side subsequently face a play-off against one of the teams knocked out of the Champions League, told BT Sport: "You do not always get what you deserve. 

"Of course, we are disappointed we didn't score two goals because that's what we needed. We want always to be number one, and when we aren't, we are disappointed."

Ten Hag took some positives out the game, highlighting the display of Garnacho after the 18-year-old became United's youngest non-English goalscorer in major European competition, taking the record from club legend George Best.

"Today, we win, and I am happy with that, and some other things like the performance of Alejandro Garnacho," the Dutchman added.

"We had problems there [on the wing]. 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."

Related items

  • New England Revolution v New York City FC: Porter committed to Revs' fight New England Revolution v New York City FC: Porter committed to Revs' fight

    Caleb Porter has praised the New England Revolution’s fighting spirit as they aim to turn their luck around against New York City FC on Saturday.

    New England currently sit bottom of the Eastern Conference with seven points after winning just two of their opening 12 matches in the league.

    After losing back-to-back games, the pressure is increasing on Porter, though he does not shy away from the hard work needed to move them up the table.

    "This team is united," Porter said. "They're fighting. We're all committed to this club and this season.

    "This team is on board. They're fighting. They're not happy with the results, but the locker room is together. The key is to win the next game.

    "The other thing is, I'm not going anywhere; I'm committed to this club. I know where we're going to get to. I'm not backing down. I'm not wavering. I'm not flinching."

    NYCFC sit in third, eight points behind leaders Inter Miami, after losing just one of their last nine MLS matches.

    They made it three wins on the bounce with a win over local rivals Red Bulls last weekend, but Nick Cushing is reluctant to get too excited about their current run.

    "We've won some football games, that's all we've won," he said.

    "We're in a solid position in the league, but in four weeks’ time, I could be saying 'we haven't won that' or 'we should've won that'.

    "It's about taking every game as it comes and just keep winning football games. We enjoy our wins, but we focus on the next games. Now, I want to win [against New England]."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    New England Revolution – Carles Gil

    Gil has been directly involved in New England’s last two goals scored at home, scoring their most recent and assisting the other.

    Overall, he is the club’s top scorer this season with four goals, twice as many as their next most prolific players, Tomas Chancalay and Giacomo Vrioni. 

    NYCFC – Santiago Rodriguez

    Rodriguez assisted one of NYCFC’s two goals in their win over the Red Bulls last Saturday. The Uruguayan (five goals, four assists) has been involved in half of the 18 goals NYCFC have scored this season.

    MATCH PREDICTION – NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION WIN

    Dating back to the end of last season, New England have lost 14 of their last 18 MLS matches (three wins, one draw incl. playoffs), including losing nine of 12 to start this season (two wins, one draw). The Revs’ seven points are their fewest after 12 matches of a season in club history.

    NYCFC recorded a 2-0 home win over New England on April 13. However, they have never defeated the Revs twice in a single regular season before.

    NYCFC have won six of their last seven matches (one defeat) including each of the last three in a row. They have won consecutive games away from home but won just one of their previous 24 on the road in all competitions (nine draws, 14 defeats).

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    New England Revolution – 41.2%

    Draw – 30.3%

    NYCFC – 28.5%

  • Ipswich boss McKenna shutting out speculation amid Chelsea, Brighton links Ipswich boss McKenna shutting out speculation amid Chelsea, Brighton links

    Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna is blocking out speculation linking him with the vacant posts at Chelsea and Brighton and Hove Albion.

    McKenna has earned plaudits after leading Ipswich to back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League, ending the Tractor Boys' 22-year exile from the top flight.

    His outstanding work has led to suggestions he is a target for other clubs, with Brighton and Hove Albion being linked with a move after Roberto De Zerbi left the club.

    On Tuesday, meanwhile, reports suggested he was a possible contender to take over at Chelsea after Mauricio Pochettino surprisingly left Stamford Bridge by mutual consent.

    McKenna saw off competition from Pep Guardiola, Mikel Arteta, Sean Dyche, Unai Emery and John Mousinho to win the League Managers Association's Manager of the Year award on Tuesday, and his focus is simply on celebrating Ipswich's achievements.

    "When you do well as a manager, or as a player, there's always going to be speculation," McKenna said at Tuesday's awards ceremony.

    "What we've achieved is no ordinary thing so of course there's going to be speculation. That's not where my focus is, to be honest.

    "It's been a wonderful couple of years and tonight is about celebrating that. Everyone's looking forward to next season and I know the club's going to be in a really good place."

    McKenna has also been tentatively linked with a return to Manchester United, where he spent five years as a coach with the academy and the first team, as Erik ten Hag's position continues to be questioned.

    Former Red Devils boss Alex Ferguson presented McKenna with his award on Tuesday, which he described as "one of the most humbling and proudest moments" of his life. 

    "It's the best thing in the world and I've had good experience as a first-team coach, but to be a manager in the Premier League and go up against great managers is going to be a great challenge and something I can't wait for," he added.

  • Putellas signs two-year deal with Barcelona Putellas signs two-year deal with Barcelona

    Barcelona midfielder Alexia Putellas has signed a two-year deal until 2026, the club announced on Thursday.

    Putellas was due to be out of contract next month, but extends her 12-year relationship with Barcelona, with the new deal also including an option for an additional season.

    The 30-year-old is a two-time Ballon d’Or winner in 2021 and 2022, though she has struggled with injuries that have kept her sidelined since winning the second.

    Overall, she has made 424 appearances, scoring a record 189 goals for the club, playing a pivotal role in Barcelona’s recent domination in women’s football.

    Putellas has won 29 major trophies with Barcelona and is looking for another on Saturday when they face Lyon in the Champions League final.

    Having already clinched Liga F, the Copa de la Reina and the Spanish Supercopa this season, Putellas can help Barcelona to complete an unprecedented quadruple with a win over the French champions.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.