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Erik ten Hag insists Alejandro Garnacho ‘must accept’ substitution decision after Manchester United beat Crystal Palace

  • February 04, 2023
Alejandro Garnacho looked unhappy after he was substituted in the closing stages of Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace (Premier League Productions)

Erik ten Hag insists Alejandro Garnacho ‘must accept’ being substituted in the closing stages of Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

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United got off to a flying start as Bruno Fernandes scored a penalty in the seventh minute before Marcus Rashford doubled the hosts’ lead at Old Trafford in the second half.

Ten Hag’s side were reduced to 10 men with 20 minutes remaining after VAR spotted Casemiro grabbing Will Hughes by the throat during a scuffle involving both sets of players.

Jeffrey Schlupp pulled a goal back for Palace but United were able to hold out for the victory which has moved them up to third in the Premier League table.

Garnacho, meanwhile, started the game as a substitute before he replaced Wout Weghorst in the 59th minute. However, the Argentine cut a frustrated figure on United’s bench after he was brought off for Harry Maguire in the 87th minute as Ten Hag’s side attempted to close out the game.

However, Ten Hag insists Garnacho must accept that the decision was ‘in the interests of the team’.

‘First we had to see how they changed, then you have to anticipate and see how we can close, how to be compact, how we close the gaps, how we get away from our goal but also still have a threat in attack,’ Ten Hag explained to MUTV after United’s win.

‘I think we had to change something. It’s not always nice bringing off a player who we brought on but it’s in the interests of the team and the player has to accept that.’

Casemiro was sent off for grabbing Will Hughes by the throat (Getty)

Ten Hag also believes Casemiro was unfairly singled out for his red card and hit out at the lack of consistency from VAR.

‘Of course, you have to control your emotions, but it’s really difficult in such moments,’ said Ten Hag.

‘I saw two teams fighting each other, I saw two teams where several players crossed the line and one player is picked out and sent off. For me that’s not right.

‘The player from Crystal Palace [Schlupp] takes a big risk by this foul, he [Anthony] could’ve got badly injured by pushing him across the line.

‘Then everyone reacted, Crystal Palace players and Man United players, not only Casemiro.

‘There was one of the players who did even worse than Casemiro. With Casemiro you freeze the moment, he crossed the line, but yeah, Ayew definitely [should have been sent off].

‘You have to be consistent with VAR. Last week we lost Christian Eriksen by a bad foul, no interfering by VAR. At Crystal Palace, [Jean-Philippe] Mateta elbowed [Lisandro] Martinez, for two weeks he’s [Martinez] running with two stitches on his eyebrow, and no interfering [from VAR], this is not right.’

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