Erik ten Hag delivers Leicester reaction after ‘rubbish’ first-half performance

Manchester United are slowly closing the gap on the teams above them as Erik ten Hag’s men kept their impressive run going this weekend with a comfortable 3-0 win over Leicester City.

Brendan Rodgers’ side were in terrific form going into the game, winning their last three games, including a stunning 4-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur last week.

And it was the visitors who created the better chances early on, forcing David de Gea to work for his 180th clean sheet for United – a landmark he has now reached and thus equalled Peter Schmeichel’s record.

United were spared on more than one occasion and when the referee blew for half-time, you could argue that the Reds were fortunate to be in front. Speaking after the game, Ten Hag admitted the first 45 minutes were ‘rubbish’.

“We’re happy with the result, it’s a great result. When you play every third day you can’t always get to your same performance. Today was really tough,” Ten Hag told Sky Sports, via the BBC.

“First half Leicester played brilliant, we were rubbish, the way we were really undisciplined. We had problems and it was only because of David de Gea that we had a clean sheet at half-time.

“Luckily we had half-time, we could repair some things and the second half was brilliant. There was a lot of pleasure, it was enjoyable to watch how we created so many chances and scored great goals.”

If the first half was poor, whatever Ten Hag said during the 15-minute interval worked wonders as United looked like a completely different team after the restart.

Rashford doubled his tally for the day before Jadon Sancho, who had been brought on as a substitute, finished a slick team move to put the game beyond Leicester. The former Borussia Dortmund star was one of the players Ten Hag was keen to praise after the game.

“He is in the right direction. He does not know his limits and there’s a lot of space for improvement, though already he is at a high level,” Ten Hag said.

United are now awaiting the visit of Barcelona for the second leg of their Europa League play-off round. Marcel Sabitzer and Lisandro Martinez were both suspended for the first game but are now available for selection.

Raphael Varane is almost certain to play in that game after being rested this weekend, with Casemiro also likely to start.

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