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Manchester City logo
Premier League | Gameweek 27
Mar 3, 2024 at 3.30pm UK
Etihad Stadium
Manchester United logo

Man City
3 - 1
Man Utd

Foden (56', 80'), Haaland (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Rashford (8')
ten Hag (57'), Varane (68')

Erik ten Hag: 'Manchester United executed the gameplan despite derby defeat'

Ten Hag: 'Man Utd executed the gameplan despite derby defeat'
© Reuters
Erik ten Hag takes plenty of positives away from the performance of his Manchester United side despite suffering a 3-1 away defeat to rival Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday.

Erik ten Hag has taken plenty of positives away from the performance of his Manchester United side despite suffering a 3-1 away defeat to rival Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday.

Although Man City boasted 74% possession, 18 shots on goal and 12 corners in the first 45 minutes, the Red Devils entered half time in front courtesy of a stunning 25-yard strike from Marcus Rashford in the eighth minute.

However, it was backs against the walls for Man United after the interval and they failed to register a single shot on goal in the second half, while they struggled to escape their own half as Man City dominated proceedings in the final third.

United's resolute backline was eventually breached on the 55-minute mark when Phil Foden arrowed a wonderful strike from the edge of the area beyond the outstretched Andre Onana into the top corner.

City continued to push forward and turned the contest on its head 10 minutes from time when man-of-the-match Foden slotted a left-footed finish into the bottom corner, before Erling Haaland sealed the victory with a composed side-footed strike.

Manchester City's Kyle Walker in action with Manchester United's Marcus Rashford on March 3, 2024© Reuters

While Man City had a total of 27 shots, 74% possession, made 728 passes, had 15 corners and boasted an xG of 3.32 throughout the 90 minutes, Man United, in stark contrast, has only three shots, 26% possession, made 228 passess, had two corners and an xG of just 0.26.

Despite that, Ten Hag believes that his side executed their gameplan, but they ultimately came up against the better opponent on the afternoon.

Speaking to reporters after the match, the Dutchman said: "I think [it was a] good performance from our side. We went 1-0 up and [played] according to the plan. We had our moments after it as well, to go for a second one.

"I think we defended very well. But then [there were] two I will say defining moments where we almost make a breakthrough and we conceded the first goal and also the second goal after also a defining moment, when Garnacho is through on the break. So yeah, then you are disappointed.

"We have to accept it, but it is what it is. But still, I think we had the opportunity to at least get one point, but also a win was possible."

Manchester City's Phil Foden scores their second goal on March 3, 2024© Reuters

Ten Hag added: "It's about getting behind the defending line and with the speed from [Alejandro] Garnacho and Rashford. And I think that went very well – we were already up after a couple of minutes.

"Good breakthrough from Garnacho, Rashford was in the perfect scoring position and then, quickly after the goal from Rashford, we had our moments and more throughout all the game.

"I think also [in] defending, we closed the middle very good, we defended the box very good. So the performance from our side was very good."

Discussing the severity of the defeat on their top-four hopes, Ten Hag added: "From this year on, we are really progressing and you have to get some points back. Everyone can beat everyone and things can quickly turn around.

"Number five [fifth position in the league] can also be a position for Champions League so we have to fight for it!"

Man United, who remain sixth in the Premier League table, 11 points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa and six behind Tottenham Hotspur in fifth, will endeavour to return to winning ways when they play host to Everton in their next top-flight match on Saturday lunchtime.

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Manchester City's Phil Foden celebrates scoring their first goal on March 3, 2024
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Tables header RHS
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Arsenal31225475245171
2Liverpool31218272304271
3Manchester CityMan City31217371314070
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs31186765452060
5Aston Villa32186866491760
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd31154124546-149
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham32139105256-448
8Newcastle UnitedNewcastle311451265521347
9Chelsea30128105552344
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton311110105149243
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves31126134449-542
12Bournemouth31118124555-1041
13Fulham32116154751-439
14Crystal Palace3179153654-1830
15Brentford3278174558-1329
16Everton3198143242-1027
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3278174056-1625
18Luton TownLuton3267194565-2025
19Burnley3247213267-3519
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd3137213082-5216


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