'Not good enough' & 'no excuses' – Man Utd in worst Premier League start

Manchester United players look frustrated as they lose to Crystal Palace
Manchester United have lost to Tottenham, Arsenal, Brighton and Crystal Palace in the Premier League this season

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has said he is concerned after his side suffered their worst start to a Premier League season with Saturday’s defeat by Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils have lost four of their first seven games of the campaign – the first time they have done so since the 1989-90 season.

It is also back-to-back defeats at home in the league, with Joachim Andersen’s first-half goal enough to secure all three points for Palace.

The last time Manchester United lost two consecutive home games in the Premier League was against Liverpool and Manchester City in October and November 2021, their last two home league games under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The final whistle was greeted by boos from the home fans, and Ten Hag said he understood their frustrations.

“I understand fans are expecting a win and we didn’t win and we lost,” said the Manchester United boss.

“Of course it is a concern, we have to be more consistent, this is not the demand for Manchester United. The demand is we get a row of wins and get into a series. We have to do better than now.

“I can give you reasons but you will explain it as an excuse and there are no excuses, we have to win.”

The defeat was all the more frustrating for Manchester United after recent results had suggested they were heading in the right direction.

They beat Burnley in the Premier League last weekend and then followed that up with a comfortable win against Palace in the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

But Palace were a different proposition on Saturday, helped by the return of several first-team players who were rested midweek.

They defended superbly and made the most of their few chances. In contrast, Manchester United were wasteful in the final third and became increasingly frustrated against their well-organised opponents.

The victory for Palace moved them up to ninth, with Manchester United dropping to 10th.

“We have to do better, and that is definitely the case. It’s not good enough,” Ten Hag added.

“We have to show it in our body language that Old Trafford is a fortress and you can’t get anything here, and the only way you can go away is with a loss.

“We have to do better here.”

‘A worrying afternoon for Ten Hag’

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has found a way to get results at Old Trafford, with this win extending his unbeaten run there to five successive games.

“A lot of talk will be about Manchester United, about them not creating well and playing well enough, but Palace deserve all the credit,” former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“Their defensive display stopped the home side from playing.”

Former Blackburn striker Chris Sutton felt Manchester United did not do enough to deserve the three points, despite dominating possession.

“We know that if Crystal Palace get their noses in front they are a very, very difficult side to break down,” he said.

” A fantastic strike from Andersen and a fantastic defensive display.

“On the other hand Manchester United only forced Sam Johnstone into a few routine saves. There were a few good clearances from Palace defenders but aside from that they struggled to create.

“A worrying afternoon for Erik ten Hag.”

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