Ten Hag Takes Blame For United Squandering Lead


(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said he was responsible for his side throwing away yet another lead in the Champions League after they were pegged back to a 3-3 draw with Galatasaray on Wednesday. The three-time European champions blew a two-goal lead twice in Istanbul, with goalkeeper Andre Onana making two costly errors, to leave their hopes of reaching the last 16 hanging by a thread.
United are bottom of Group A with four points from five matches but still just one point adrift of Copenhagen and Galatasaray. They must beat group winners Bayern Munich on December 12 to progress. United let a two-goal lead slip in an earlier group game in Copenhagen before losing 4-3 and Ten Hag said their inability to see games out was down to him.
“It's always me (who is to blame for throwing away leads). I am responsible for this, but also know we are in a project,” the Dutchman said.“We are in the right direction, so I know where we have to go and which steps we have to take and I'm sure we will be successful in the long term. If we want to stay in the Champions League, we have to win the next game.”
Ten Hag was confident they would find a way to stop conceding so many goals. United have scored the most goals in their group with 12 but are tied with Celtic for the second-worst defensive record in this year's Champions League, with 14 scored against them. Only Antwerp in Group H have conceded more (15).“We will fix that but I'm very pleased, you see the style of the team,” he said.“Proactive, dynamic, brave, so it's what I said, I'm really pleased with the performance.”
Ten Hag's side next travel to Newcastle United in the Premier League tomorrow
Arsenal and PSV into last 16
Meanwhile, Arsenal and PSV Eindhoven secured qualification for the Champions League last 16. Arsenal's form in Europe this season has been in stark contrast to that of Manchester United, and the Gunners romped into the last 16 with a 6-0 demolition of Lens in London.
Mikel Arteta's side were five goals up at the break with Kai Havertz, Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard all netting. Jorginho completed the scoring from a late penalty as Arsenal gained revenge for their 2-1 defeat by Lens in France last month.“Today was the day to get it done. We did it in a beautiful way,” Arteta said.
Arsenal have scored 12 goals without reply in winning their three home matches in Group B and have now wrapped up top spot ahead of PSV, who are also through. The Dutch side, European Cup winners in 1988, produced a superb comeback to triumph 3-2 away to Sevilla and put themselves out of sight in second place.
Goals by Sergio Ramos and Youssef En-Nesyri had Sevilla 2-0 up, but Lucas Ocampos was sent off for the hosts just before substitute Ismael Saibari, the Spanish-born Moroccan international, pulled one back for PSV. They equalised through a Nemanja Gudelj own goal and won it in stoppage time through United States forward Ricardo Pepi. Sevilla now have to win at Lens next month to salvage a place in the Europa League, the competition they won last season.
Real Madrid were already through to the last 16 before hosting Napoli and they clinched top spot in Group C with a 4-2 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu. Giovanni Simeone, son of Atletico Madrid coach Diego, gave Napoli an early lead, but Rodrygo equalised immediately, continuing his fine form with a superb strike for his seventh goal in his last seven games.
Jude Bellingham put the hosts ahead with his 15th goal of the season in all competitions only for Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa to get Napoli back level just after the restart. However, teenage substitute Nico Paz made it 3-2 for Real with a long-range strike that evaded the goalkeeper's grasp, and Bellingham set up Joselu to wrap up the win late on.
That result prevented Napoli from clinching qualification as they could still be caught by Braga, who drew 1-1 at home to Union Berlin in Portugal despite having Sikou Niakate sent off in the first half. Robin Gosens fired Union in front but Alvaro Djalo levelled for the hosts after the break.
Real Sociedad and Inter Milan were both already through from Group D and their meeting next month will decide who tops the section. On Wednesday, a much-changed Inter side recovered from three goals down to draw 3-3 with Benfica in Portugal after Joao Mario scored a first-half hat-trick against his old club. Marko Arnautovic and Davide Frattesi pulled goals back for Inter before Alexis Sanchez levelled from the penalty spot, and Benfica were reduced to 10 men late on when Antonio Silva was sent off. Real Sociedad drew 0-0 with Red Bull Salzburg.

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