Ten Hag brands reaction to Man Utd’s FA Cup semi win ‘a disgrace’

MANCHESTER, England — Erik ten Hag has branded the negative reaction to Manchester United reaching a second successive FA Cup final as “a disgrace.”

United needed penalties to beat Coventry City on Sunday despite at one stage leading the Championship side 3-0.

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Ten Hag’s team eventually did enough to earn a place in the final, where they will play Manchester City, and the Dutchman said he cannot understand the fall-out from the performance.

“No, absolutely not,” Ten Hag said at a news conference when asked whether he could understand the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the display against Coventry.

“One question was: ‘Is it embarrassing?’ No, the reaction from you [the media] was embarrassing.

“Top football is about results, we made it to a final and we deserved it, not only by this game but also the other games. We lost control for 20 minutes, we also had bad luck. We were very lucky in the end, it is clear.

“We made it to the final, it is a huge achievement. Twice in two years is magnificent. For me as a manager, four cup finals in four years. The comments are a disgrace.”

Ten Hag also defended Antony‘s celebrations following United’s winning penalty in the shootout

The Brazil winger, who came on as a second-half substitute, was seen cupping his ear towards the Coventry players after Rasmus Højlund converted the decisive kick.

However, Ten Hag said Antony had been provoked into his reaction and pointed to Harry Maguire, who immediately consoled the Coventry players after the final whistle, as proof his side remained respectful of their opponents.

“[Antony] was provoked,” Ten Hag said. “That’s why this was a reaction of that. You haven’t seen the provocation, only the reaction. But he should not do it.

“I have seen Harry Maguire straight after and others. We should acknowledge the performance of Coventry and the comeback but we are for 70 minutes totally dominating the game.”

It was announced on Tuesday that the FA Cup final will kick off at the traditional time of 3 p.m. GMT on May 25. It is the second straight year that the final will start at that time, with the FA opting for an early evening time slot in recent years.

Meanwhile, United have more injury problems ahead of their Premier League game with Sheffield United.

Ten Hag was forced to use Casemiro as a centre-back against Coventry but could also be without Alejandro Garnacho, Marcus Rashford, Maguire, Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

“We had a problem with Garnacho, that’s why we took him off during the game [against Coventry] but I think he will be fine,” Ten Hag said.

“Scott McTominay, we have to assess. He is really doubtful. Marcus Rashford is also doubtful and there was also an issue with Bruno Fernandes with the hand, but I think he can make it. We have some doubts going into the game.”

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.