Manchester United’s Europa League campaign came to an abrupt end after they suffered a 3-0 defeat to Sevilla in the second leg of the quarterfinals.
The loss was a bitter pill for United boss Erik ten Hag to swallow, who made it clear that his side’s mistakes cost them the game.
Ten Hag was visibly frustrated with the manner in which his team was eliminated from the competition they had hoped to win.
Although he didn’t single out any individuals, it was apparent that he was unhappy with the performance of his players.
Speaking to BT Sport after the match, Ten Hag said, “It’s clear. When we make such mistakes, it’s difficult to win a football game. It’s a problem and we have to acknowledge it but against Brighton, we have an opportunity to work on that. You have seen what I have seen. We were not composed or calm.”
One player who bore the brunt of the criticism was goalkeeper David de Gea, who endured a torrid night in his home country of Spain. De Gea was arguably at fault for all three goals that United conceded.
The first goal came inside the opening eight minutes after the goalkeeper played a dangerous pass to Harry Maguire, who was dispossessed by Youssef El-Nesryi, who fired the hosts in front.
While many initially blamed Maguire, BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage was vocal in his stance that De Gea was at fault for giving the centre-back the ball in the first place.
Just two minutes into the second half, Sevilla doubled their lead after Loic Bade’s looping header caught
De Gea off guard and went in off the crossbar. His poor touch then found the feet of El-Nesryi, who curled his strike beyond the stranded De Gea to send Sevilla into dreamland and United out of the competition.
Despite the goalkeeper’s errors, Ten Hag publicly issued his support for De Gea during his post-match media duties.
He said, “David de Gea as a long-term goalkeeper? He is the one with the cleanest sheets in the Premier League.”
However, former United player Paul Scholes was not as forgiving and bemoaned the kind of tone De Gea set for the game with his mistakes.
The defeat is a big blow for United, who will now turn their attention to the Premier League, where they sit second, 11 points behind rivals Manchester City.
With just six games left to play, United will need to be at their best to finish the season on a high.