Manchester United lacked the “passion, desire, and willingness”, according to manager Erik ten Hag following the Red Devil’s Europa League quarter-final exit at the hands of Sevilla.
In the first leg, United conceded two late own goals to draw 2-2, and in the second leg, they displayed another poor defensive performance, resulting in a 5-2 aggregate loss.
Sevilla scored two goals due to mistakes from Harry Maguire and David de Gea. Although United was without several key players such as Bruno Fernandes, who was suspended, and Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane, who were injured, Ten Hag argued that this was no excuse for their poor performance.
“We have to do better, that’s the demand. We were not composed, not calm,” he told BT Sport.
“We didn’t beat the press; when you do, there are so many spaces behind, and it was obvious at the start how to do it. We lost the battles, they had more passion, more desire, more willingness. That’s difficult to win games.
“It’s about the players on the pitch. They have to perform, I believe in them and trust them, but they have to show it, and they were not good enough. We have shown on so many occasions good things, but tonight we weren’t ready for the game. At this level, playing for Manchester United, you have to be ready for every game.
“This was a great opportunity, a great occasion, to win something, and we gave it away – we have to blame ourselves.
“It’s gone, we can’t change it. We have to look forward to Sunday [against Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup semi-finals], that’s the next opportunity.“