Christian Eriksen: Players to blame for Man United’s pathetic Palace performance

Christian Eriksen says Manchester United’s players “take the blame” for the humiliating 4-0 hammering at Crystal Palace that has increased the pressure on manager Erik ten Hag.

The Dutchman’s difficult second season in the hot seat reached a new nadir on Monday night as the Eagles put the lifeless, injury-hit Red Devils to the sword.

Ten Hag’s team lacked direction and determination as Palace ran amok in a match that saw woeful United fall to a 13th league loss – their most defeats in a Premier League campaign.

However, the ex-Ajax boss remains “absolutely” convinced he is the right man for the job and vowed to fight on with three league games to go before the FA Cup final against Manchester City.

Quite whether Ineos agrees with Ten Hag remains to be seen, but there is no doubt United will add to their 18 defeats in all competitions if they perform anything like they did at Selhurst Park again.

“A big disappointment,” experienced midfielder Eriksen told BBC Sport. “We just had an off-day and we weren’t in it.

“It is what it is. We can’t really change the injury things. We have to do what we can on the pitch to change it.

“Today it didn’t matter who we played. Everyone could have done better.

“I don’t know what the conclusion is for how it went. We weren’t good enough.

“We tried to do what we could, but we were not good enough. We’ll take the blame as players.”

The fact United were without 11 first-team players, including captain Bruno Fernandes, five centre-backs and both left-backs, offers some mitigation.

Yet there was still talent on display against Palace and an experienced core of players, like stand-in captain Casemiro, returning Jonny Evans and midfielder Eriksen.

Asked what he put United’s poor performance down to, the latter told Sky Sports: “It’s difficult to say the reason to how it’s going as it is. But I think the confidence, the belief is a big one.

“I think it’s been all of this season when we got the first goal against, we try to come back, but in every good period we have, we concede.

“Today there weren’t many good periods, so it was a lot of running behind the ball and really not getting the ball and doing anything.”

The loss leaves United eighth and facing the prospect on missing out on European qualification entirely.

In truth, the only people connected to United able to leave Selhurst Park with their heads held high were the travelling fans.

They loudly stuck with their team throughout and continued in the same manner when their under-performing players came over after the final whistle.

“It was amazing to see the fans sticking around after,” Eriksen said. “Even towards the end of the game, you often see away fans being disappointed and leaving. You didn’t see that today with our fans, which is a big (thing).

“I think also as players we try of course to give them something back and today was far (from) good enough and we take that. We will do what we can to fix it for the next game.”

Doing so against table-topping Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday looks a tall order, however.

The Red Devils ran the Gunners close earlier in the season but have dropped off markedly since conceding two stoppage-time goals in September’s 3-1 defeat at the Emirates Stadium.

Asked if Sunday was a chance to give something back to what Eriksen called United’s “top-notch” support, he told MUTV: “Yeah, 100 per cent. I think also just on the pitch we want to turn around.

“I mean, we have to work this week and prepare ourselves for another big game. And we have to change it.”


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