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‘Stupid to do that’: Erik ten Hag unhappy with too many crosses into the box vs Aston Villa

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has expressed his frustration over the number of crosses into the box during Sunday’s 3-1 Premier League defeat at Aston Villa.

The Red Devils were second best during the opening half at Villa Park and went two goals down after just 11 minutes. United were handed a lucky own goal before the break, but could not capitalise.

Villa made it 3-1 in their favour within minutes of the restart. The goal came through another poor piece of defending. Jacob Ramsey was left with loads of space to shoot with no one tracking him.

United never managed to get back into the game and Ten Hag was particularly frustrated with the decision to put regular crosses into the box for Ronaldo with barely any accuracy.

He told “No, I think it was stupid to do that [often look for Ronaldo in the air]. We delivered too many quick crosses in from too far away. There was too much forcing and we didn’t have to.”

“We have to find the crosses in the right moments. The right moment was when Christian Eriksen did so in the first half, and the moment was when he found Cristiano in the pocket at the far post. That was the right moment.”

United attempted 22 crosses at Villa Park today. Out of those, only four of them were successful. Hence, it is unsurprising that Ten Hag was left frustrated by the one-dimensional tactic.

The club went into the game in a good run of form. They had not conceded from open play for 12 hours of first-team football, but Villa shattered their defensive record in no time.

They looked up for the challenge in Unai Emery’s first game in charge as their manager. It was a good reality check for United, who have got away with sub-par displays recently.

David de Gea single-handedly won them the game against West Ham United and Real Sociedad with splendid saves but he was helpless today with poor defending in front of him.

United have the chance to avenge their result immediately, considering they host Villa in the Carabao Cup third round in midweek. Ten Hag will no doubt make changes to the XI.

Stats from