21 April 2023

Man Utd players take responsibility for error-strewn defeat – Christian Eriksen

21 April 2023

Christian Eriksen says the players take responsibility for a Europa League exit that has rocked Manchester United ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Brighton.

Erik ten Hag has overseen an impressive improvement in fortunes and culture since joining in the summer, leading the Old Trafford giants to lift the Carabao Cup in February.

But among the highs have come some chastening lows, with Thursday’s 3-0 loss at Sevilla as humiliating an away defeat as those to Brentford, Manchester City and Liverpool earlier in the campaign.

Not content with blowing a two-goal lead to draw last week’s first leg 2-2, Ten Hag’s men put in a ragged, error-strewn performance in Spain and offered little threat in response.

“It was a big disappointment,” midfielder Eriksen told MUTV.

“It was a quiet dressing room. The manager said some stuff and, yeah, we all take our accountability from what happened.

“I think any opponent when you play like today and you give the chances the way we do, then of course you’re going to lose the game.

“I think first game we felt in control until the 80-something minute.

“But, again, it’s football. I mean, if you don’t take your chances when you have them then you’re going to be punished in the end.”

Harry Maguire was unfortunate to turn in Youssef En-Nesyri’s header at the end of last week’s first leg, but he gift-wrapped the striker’s first of the night in the return fixture.

The United captain saw a pass cut out as he panicked under pressure as Sevilla took a seventh-minute lead, with Loic Bade putting the hosts further ahead immediately after half-time.

It was alarming how Ten Hag’s men continued to be outthought and outfought, with David De Gea gifting En-Nesyri another after rushing off his line only to hash a clearance and leave an open goal.

Few United players were in talking mood after Thursday’s 3-0 humbling at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, but Eriksen calmly critiqued the performance while keeping the season’s progress in context.

“We had a few of the bigger setbacks this season,” the Denmark international said. “But in the end, we can see where we are.

“I mean, we were in a quarter-final in the Europa League after everything else and now in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

“So we can still be proud of where we are but obviously we want to achieve more. Sunday’s now where we can prove our point.”

That fixture comes under the Wembley arch this weekend as United take on ever-improving Brighton in the FA Cup semi-finals.

  • Brighton (N) - FAC, Sun Apr 23
  • Tottenham (A) - PL, Thu Apr 27
  • Aston Villa (H) - PL, Sun Apr 30
  • Brighton (A) - PL, Thu May 4
  • West Ham - PL, Thu May 7

Asked if playing such a huge game is the best thing to get over Thursday’s humbling, Eriksen said: “Yeah, I think so.

“I mean, it’s definitely going to change our feelings towards the next game.

“Whoever we’re going to play after this, we want to show that we’re better than what we did today, want to give something back to the fans, and to the club.

“It’s a big disappointment but there’s a new focus in three days’ time, and that’s another very big game so I’m sure we’ll be up for that as well.”

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