Erik ten Solskjaer?! Shambolic defending & frantic comebacks show Man Utd have not made desired progress under Dutch manager

Erik ten Hag Solskjaer GFXGetty

"They were easy give-aways," said the Manchester United manager, assessing how his side had fallen behind so early in a match they were expected to win comfortably. "It was a horror start. With all respect, we can't allow them [those goals]."

The Red Devils' boss added: "The first one is that we play a short corner and forget about the man up top. That’s unforgivable… We’ve not done our roles, it’s my responsibility. You don’t see goals like that at this level. You shouldn’t concede easy goals like that. When you do, it makes winning matches a lot harder."

Spot the difference? The first line of quotes was Erik ten Hag's reaction to United's 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest last Saturday, a game in which his side fell two goals behind within the opening four minutes. The second comment was from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after United's 2-1 defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir in November 2020.

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Solskjaer could not believe his eyes after 35-year-old Demba Ba had ran from his own half towards goal, completely unopposed, to give the unfancied Turkish side the lead in the 13th minute. Ten Hag, meanwhile, had just witnessed Taiwo Awoniyi run unchallenged from the halfway line to score the opening goal, taking advantage of childish defending after United had just taken a corner.