Berliner Tageblatt - Man Utd 'got away with it' in FA Cup semi-final, admits Ten Hag

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Man Utd 'got away with it' in FA Cup semi-final, admits Ten Hag
Man Utd 'got away with it' in FA Cup semi-final, admits Ten Hag / Photo: © AFP

Man Utd 'got away with it' in FA Cup semi-final, admits Ten Hag

Erik ten Hag admitted Manchester United "got away with it" after his team won an FA Cup semi-final penalty shootout against Coventry on Sunday following an astonishing collapse during the match.

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The Premier League side scraped through at Wembley after the game ended 3-3 following extra time, with Rasmus Hojlund scoring the decisive spot kick.

United won 4-2 on penalties against the Championship side but only after throwing away a 3-0 lead during a chaotic second half.

It is the latest chapter in a frenzied campaign for the club, who are in danger of missing out on a European place next season.

They have made a dangerous habit of tossing away winning positions over recent weeks, conceding an alarming number of chances and they reverted to their bad habits against the 1987 FA Cup winners.

"We suffer (on) occasions, we let each other down and we let the result slip away. But today we got away with it," Ten Hag told reporters.

But the Dutch manager insisted Sunday's result was still a positive achievement for the club and played down any notion of embarrassment at the manner of victory.

"I see the mistakes we make. We can't look away from it. But it's not an embarrassment. As I say, it's a huge achievement," he added, noting United had made the FA Cup final in back-to-back seasons.

"In the last 20 years, United was five times in the final. Now we are two times in two years. So it's a huge achievement.

"But, of course, when you are so in control in the game, and you're so dominating the game and 3-0 up, and then we should bring it over the finish and the way we did was not good."

The under-pressure United boss praised his side's character in the shootout as a "good sign" but conceded their collapse during the match was "completely unnecessary".

Asked about morale in the dressing room Ten Hag said there were "mixed feelings".

"They are also disappointed," he added, referring to the way United allowed Coventry back into the match.

The United boss said his players would need to play for their places in next month's final at Wembley against arch-rivals Manchester City, who beat Chelsea on Saturday in the other semi-final at Wembley.

"The players should prove that they earn to play in the final and to give performances in the coming weeks," he said, as United battle to finish high enough in the Premier League table to qualify for Europe next season.

H.Seidel--BTB