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09th Nov 2023

Erik ten Hag slams refereeing decisions in Copenhagen defeat

Callum Boyle

Erik ten Hag

Ten Hag rued the decisions that went against him

Erik ten Hag slammed the decision to send Marcus Rashford off in Manchester United’s latest defeat on Wednesday night.

United were on the losing end of a seven-goal thriller in Copenhagen as Ten Hag’s side slid to the bottom of their group and face a battle to even qualify for the Europa League knockouts.

The Red Devils were two goals ahead going into half time thanks to a Rasmus Hojlund brace before Marcus Rashford was controversially sent off for catching Elias Jelert’s ankle.

Copenhagen then scored two quick-fire goals to go into the break level thanks to Mohamed Elyounoussi’s strike and a Diogo Goncalves penalty after Harry Maguire handled the ball in the box.

Bruno Fernandes then restored United’s lead with a penalty of their own before the Danish outfit capitalised one on the extra man advantage as goals from Lukas Lerager and Roony Bardghji.

Ten Hag’s side now have a mountain to climb to reach the Champions League knockout stages and Ten Hag believed that poor officiating was the catalyst to the United defeat.

“The red card changes everything,” said the Dutchman.

“I think when you freeze frame it, it always looks so much worse and as I say it takes them so long and they make a red card of it.

“Come on. The first 25 minutes we dictated, dominated the game, went 2-0 up and then the red card changes everything. We are down to 10 and we are very disappointed.

“We conceded two goals before half-time which should never count. The first is offside, a player is in front of Andre Onana.

“The second is a penalty that’s very harsh. The ball on the hand, but it’s so close and the hand is in such a normal position. He (Harry Maguire) went for the ball and the ref needs such a long time. That is in four games, four penalties against us, and I say three are very debatable.

“I’m very disappointed about such decisions. The game is never meant to be like this. This has nothing to do with football.”

He then continued: “Decisions have to be made and I accept also wrong decisions are made by some at this level. Three such tough decisions (against FC Copenhagen). You control the game and the game is never meant to be for that.”

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