Ten Hag: We were bullied in first half but I am proud

Erik ten Hag admits that his Manchester United side were bullied in the first half of their 2-2 draw with Liverpool but overall, he was proud. 

Liverpool deservedly took the lead midway through the first half after Luis Diaz volleyed home from close range. Jurgen Klopp’s side created chances before and after their opener but could not make their dominance count as United grew into the game in the second half. 

Goals from Bruno Fernandes following a costly error from Jarell Quansah and a stunner from Kobbie Mainoo put United ahead before Mohamed Salah’s penalty levelled the tie late on. 

However, United’s showing in the first half concerned Ten Hag. United failed to register a single shot in the opening 45 for the first time since October 2015 and were once again easy to play through.  

Ten Hag was worried with how poorly his team performed in the first half but was encouraged by their second half showing that almost resulted in an unlikely victory. 

Ten Hag said: “There are very mixed emotions. On one side, very disappointed. We gave away a certain win by making a not-very-clever mistake, like on Thursday, like last Saturday. So, we lose seven points in one week, when we should have nine points, which makes a huge difference. 

“On the other side, I am so proud of this team. We are so young. To give this performance, to give this level, shows the future for Man Utd is very bright.

“The resilience and the quality. The way we played in and out of possession, how we organised it, the way we played together. Then the resilience was also necessary. 

“In the first half, we did not win the decisive duels. We were hammered, we were bullied. Our young players were sometimes even overwhelmed. 

“But in the second half, they stepped up. And then you saw the improvement, the belief. They were convinced to get a win.”

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