Erik ten Hag

Manchester United is no better than before Erik ten Hag took charge

Manchester United first showed no fear. After this crazy game went into eight minutes of extra time, they played brilliantly. Chelsea’s displeasure grew as Bruno Fernandes and Mason Mount patiently ran down the clock by guarding possession on the left wing, edging closer to a 3-2 loss that was entirely their own.

Bruno Fernandes and Mason Mount

United under Erik ten Hag is insecure. After losing her composure, Noni Madueke had one last chance to run at Diogo Dalot on the right.

Slipping, falling, and the referee’s whistle changed the tone. Cole Palmer, relaxed from the spot, made it 3-3 with his second penalty. United would play for a point.

Noni Madueke run at Diogo Dalot on the right

On a night of chaos, United pushed, Chelsea countered, and Mauricio Pochettino marched around the pitch long after full time, hugging anything that moved, whirring his arms at a public that was not adoring, basking in the madness after Palmer’s deflected shot beat André Onana.

Naturally, this might change Chelsea’s season. This 4-3 win moved them up to 10th place, five points behind United with nine games left, but perspective is important.

Pochettino seemed so agitated and unhappy

A reason Pochettino seemed so agitated and unhappy before the remarkable comeback, even when his side were 2-0 up after 19 minutes. How would you feel if you managed the Premier League’s silliest and most illogical team?

How comfortable would you be watching Axel Disasi pass out from behind? Would you be happy after witnessing your £115m midfielder, Moisés Caicedo, pass to Alejandro Garnacho to give United hope?

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Axel Disasi pass out from behind

Chelsea, who have conceded twice in their last six matches, tried to lose. Bruno Fernandes equalized during a counterattack after Garnacho halved the deficit after Caicedo’s blunder. Chelsea’s defense was weak, therefore they were messy.

United’s second goal was funny. When Dalot crossed, Chelsea left-back Marc Cucurella was on the right. Fernandes headed past Djordje Petrovic as Benoît Badiashile marked two at the back post.

Garnacho halved the deficit after Caicedo's blunder

Chelsea, so terrible without the ball, had six back when United broke. It was insufficient.

Pochettino faces issues. Disasi lost control to Rasmus Højlund, who nearly scored. Chelsea sometimes played without a midfield as the game lurched. After Badiashile’s pass let Antony throw in a superb cross for Garnacho to score, they were 3-2 down with 67 minutes left.

Disasi lost control to Rasmus Højlund

What if United had hung on for a win to surpass Tottenham and Aston Villa for a Champions League spot? Antony had to use the outside of his left foot to get his first league assist this season.

His right foot is irrelevant, making him predictable. Not every club will struggle to mark the Brazilian winger.

Antony had courage to recover from a trip on Cucurella that gave Chelsea a second goal penalty. United were terrible early on. They were behind after Kobbie Mainoo lost control, Enzo Fernández released Malo Gusto, and Conor Gallagher’s shot beat Onana.

Conor Gallagher's shot beat Onana

Chelsea’s first 30 minutes were intense and Gallagher’s pressure important. United were the opposite. Most agree that running is crucial at this level. Best teams have strong spines. United, who can’t press, play like a Legends game.

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This is why their opponents have so many shots on goal (Chelsea had 18). Nobody guards the defense. Mainoo’s 18.

Casemiro strolled near Nicolas Jackson

Casemiro strolled near Nicolas Jackson, looking more like a fan with a premium VIP ticket that allowed him to watch from a safe distance as the Chelsea forward surged through the middle.

Late collapse was expected in that environment. Ten Hag has worked here nearly two years. United are no eliter than when they hired the Dutchman. Ten Hag cannot object if the new owners hire a manager this summer.

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