‘Clutch at straws’ – Carragher aims dig at Man Utd boss Ten Hag over damage limitation

Will Ford
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher

Jamie Carragher insists Erik ten Hag was “clutching at straws” in a post-match interview that the pundit saw as little more than a damage limitations exercise ahead of Manchester United’s trip to Anfield on Sunday.

Kingsley Coman’s goal was enough to see off United, who needed to win the game to stand any chance of progression.

As it turned out, even a win would have seen them knocked out of the Champions League after Copenhagen’s win over Galatasaray in the other Group A game, but it would at least have meant United would have dropped down to the Europa League.

Instead they will play no European football for the remainder of the season.

Club legend Peter Schmeichel insists United were “average” at best as they barely laid a glove on the German giants at Old Trafford, but Ten Hag claimed his side were “very good” in defeat.

The Red Devils travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool on Sunday amid the rising pressure on Ten Hag, having infamously lost the corresponding fixture last season 7-0, and Carragher believes the United manager’s post match comments were those of someone practicing a damage limitations exercise.

“I think what happens is because it’s been so poor for Manchester United this season, you’re playing one of the top teams in Europe, you are missing injured players,” he told CBS Sports.

“I think it’s almost a case of because you haven’t been beaten 3-0 or 4-0, 1-0 actually feels OK.

“You’re in the game for an hour. He’s probably watching the game thinking we’re still in this and it’s almost like a slight feelgood factor.

“Because you lose 3-0 to Bournemouth, you’re now playing one of the giants of European football and you only lose 1-0, he’s trying to take something from it to then get to Sunday.

“That will be the message to the players ‘you were playing one of the top teams in Europe anything could’ve happened, we’ve got to go to Anfield now and try to produce some sort of performance’.

“A result looks really tough on paper but I think that’s just a manager trying to clutch at straws.”

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