Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has praised his side’s ‘great performance’ in the goalless draw against Southampton at Old Trafford.
Neither side managed a goal in the contest, but there was no shortage of drama, with VAR at the centre of a controversial decision, Casemiro seeing red, and both sides hitting the post twice.
Despite having to rumble on with ten men for over an hour, United put in an impressive showing, and although the game could have gone either way, Ten Hag was thrilled with his side’s display.
“Great performance – with 11 and with ten, our levels were really good,” Ten Hag told MUTV. “We could have won this game, despite playing with ten for a long time.”
Casemiro was handed his marching orders just over 30 minutes into the game. It was only the second of his professional career – both of which have come in a United shirt – and Ten Hag could not hide his disappointment at the referee’s decision to send the Brazilian off.
“I think the referee had a big influence on two big issues,” the United manager added. “One was the red card, and the other was the penalty issue.
“He is upset – he is disappointed as we are disappointed. Casemiro played over 500 games in the highest levels in La Liga, Portugal and the Champions League. He never had a direct red, but now he has twice in a really short period – we don’t understand.”
Ten Hag then reiterated that his side could have won the game in the second half with the desire and character the players showed in response to being a player down.
“We could have won this game,” Ten Hag continued. “There was great team spirit, great character – we came out, created some good chances, but I think all over we defended very well and almost never gave big chances away.”
United travel to Spain on Thursday for the second leg of their Europa League last 16 tie with Real Betis, which will likely formalise their progress to the quarter-final after recording a comfortable 4-1 victory in the reverse fixture.
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