Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher criticized Erik ten Hag’s defense of Manchester United’s performance after their Champions League exit, suggesting that the manager was “clutching at straws.”
Despite needing a win to have any chance of progressing, Manchester United put up a lackluster display against Bayern Munich, resulting in a 1-0 loss and elimination from European competition.
In the post-match analysis, Ten Hag claimed his team played well, even with just one shot on target, and argued that they “didn’t deserve to lose.”
Carragher, however, viewed this assessment as an attempt to downplay the disappointment ahead of their upcoming match against Liverpool on Sunday.
Carragher explained his perspective on CBS Sports, stating, “I think what happens is because it’s been so poor for Manchester United this season, you’re playing one of the top teams in Europe, you are missing injured players.”
He suggested that the manager might be seeking a slight positive spin by emphasizing that losing 1-0 to a European giant feels better than a heavier defeat.
The absence of key players like Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Mason Mount, and Christian Eriksen, along with injuries to Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw during the match, affected Manchester United’s performance.
Despite Bayern Munich not being at their best, they ended United’s hopes of European football after Christmas.
Carragher dismissed the attempt to find solace in the result, emphasizing that the manager’s message may be an effort to rally the team for their upcoming challenges.