Football NewsThree former Man Utd players slam Erik ten Hag tactical tweak.
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Manchester United threw away a two-goal lead against Tottenham two weeks after doing the exact same against Sevilla in Europe.

Erik ten Hag has been criticised for his substitutions during Manchester United’s 2-2 draw against Tottenham on Thursday night.

Goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford gave United a two-goal lead, but they surrendered their advantage when Pedro Porro and Son Heung-min scored after half-time. The result leaves United’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League in the balance.

Ten Hag made his first substitutions shortly after Porro made it 2-1 to Spurs, with Anthony Martial and Fred coming on. Tyrell Malacia and Wout Weghorst were also introduced in the 71st minute. But all four players failed to make a positive impact on the game.

Tottenham were arguably the better team following the changes, with Eric Dier missing a sitter before Son’s equaliser. As such, Peter Schmeichel, Owen Hargreaves and Rio Ferdinand – who all won trophies at Old Trafford – have slammed Ten Hag’s judgement.

“United will be disappointed, they will all be trudging into that changing room thinking how did we let that slip,” Ferdinand said. “The first half they totally dominated this Spurs team, a team struggling for confidence and you’ve allowed them back in the game.

“They will be hugely disappointed. I think the substitutions from United saw them relinquish control of the game with the personnel that came on.”

It’s the second time within a month that United have let a two-goal lead slip, doing the same against Sevilla at Old Trafford in the Europa League. That result ultimately cost Ten Hag’s side, as they went on to lose 3-0 in Spain in the second leg of the quarter-final tie.

Hargreaves believes United are lacking depth. First-choice centre-backs Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane are nursing injuries, while their FA Cup semi-final win against Brighton – which went to penalties – will have taken a lot out of Ten Hag’s players.

Hargreaves added: “He [ten Hag] felt he needed to make some subs obviously after the game against Brighton on Sunday, the players were tired and he felt he needed to make changes. I think up until about six weeks ago he probably got every sub right.

At Anfield [7-0 loss] he had a couple of moments that didn’t go his way, at home against Sevilla, a couple of subs that didn’t go his way, and obviously today. That’s the one thing they need to address is the depth and obviously they will try to do that in the summer.”

Schmeichel has also highlighted United’s lack of depth and was perplexed by Ten Hag’s decision to substitute Aaron Wan-Bissaka for Malacia. The ex-goalkeeper told Premier League productions: “With Varane and Martinez out, defensively we are a bit vulnerable.”

Schmeichel added: “That second goal, I don’t know what Malacia is doing. The ball runs straight past him and he just looks at it. You have just come on, you have to make some sort of impact, you have a job to do.

“I’m not sure why he [ten Hag] took Wan-Bissaka off because he was really good today. We’re 2-1 up, you don’t change it, it is not that bad where you take your best defender off.”