Erik ten Hag thinks his Manchester United team conceded two “soft goals” in their FA Cup final defeat to Man City but he is “proud” of his players.
The Red Devils were the underdogs heading into Saturday’s FA Cup final against Man City and they fell behind after just 13 seconds.
A long ball forward from Stefan Ortega found its way to Ilkay Gundogan, who fired the ball home via a stunning volley.
Man Utd got themselves back into the game before the break as Bruno Fernandes calmly converted his penalty after Jack Grealish was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area.
City managed to retake the lead shortly after the restart thanks to a second volley from Gundogan. This strike was not as convincing as the first but the ball nestled in the bottom corner.
Speaking after the final whistle, Ten Hag claimed his Man Utd side “did very well” but they succumbed to two “soft and avoidable” goals.
“We are broken, disappointed of course, but I said I am proud of my team. We did very well, we conceded two soft goals but we were in the game. There was a great spirit and very good organisation,” Ten Hag said on BBC One.
“They were tough goals, they were so soft and avoidable. When you play against City and you don’t concede almost anything from open play it is a big credit for the team but if you concede goals like this it is disappointing.
“This team showed resilience, character and personality. We know we have a way to go but this will make us better. It was a test for us, we didn’t succeed but we can take a lot of positives into next season.”
Fernandes thinks this season was “a good one” for Man Utd even after their defeat in the FA Cup final.
“Everyone is down and it’s really difficult. We wanted to end the season in a different way but it wasn’t possible,” Fernandes said.
“We’ve made big steps for next season, it wasn’t a successful season overall but it was a good one. We have come back next season and try to win bigger trophies.”
On United conceding early: “We came back into the game, we started badly but came back into it and had good spells on the ball in the first half.
“After we scored, we had some good counters but didn’t score. We conceded early in the second half and then still had other chances but we didn’t and City deserved the win.
“We were too soft and gave up too much space for the first goal but it’s an amazing strike. If players are tighter then maybe they can stop it but it’s an amazing strike.
“He’s [Gundogan] an amazing player and one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.
“Our fans have been great all season and they deserved a different result today. We’re disappointed that we couldn’t give fans the joy they deserve. We are grateful for everything they have done this season. I promise we will come and try again next season.”