Erik ten Hag says United losing control of Villa game is a 'lesson'

Erik ten Hag has spoken to MUTV after Manchester United drew 2-2 with Aston Villa in the final game of the pre-season tour.

The game in Perth was under threat before kick-off due to heavy rain and the heavens opened during the first half, creating a pitch which worsened underfoot.

United went in 2-0 up at half-time after a dominant performance, but just as they did at Villa Park under Ralf Rangnick last season, they let the lead slip and drew 2-2.

Speaking after the game, Ten Hag said that loss of control serves as a lesson to United as their 100 per cent tour record was ended.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Ten Hag gives his view on Manchester United 2-2 Aston Villa

“First half, decent performance, 2-0 up,” he said.

“Second half, we came out of the dressing room and we had to control that game and gave it away. That’s not good.

“That is a lesson. (The weather) is a circumstance you have to deal with. It is the same for both teams. We make a lot of progress, a lot of positive aspects but at the end a setback.

“That is part of the season, you will have setbacks and you have to deal with that. We want to play proactive football, and we saw that today, but you also have to control the game and that is what we didn’t do.

“We have to work hard and play as a team and then we will have good performances.”

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

This was the first time United were really tested during their tour, with Steven Gerrard clearly sending Villa out with a point to prove after the interval.

They made changes and the space behind United’s full-backs was notable, especially on Luke Shaw’s left flank, where Leon Bailey made an impact, and scored to make it 2-1.

But as Ten Hag says, United are not going to have it all their own way this season and it is good for him to see how his squad responds to this.

There is still plenty to do before United are the side their new manager wants them to be, and next weekend’s duo of friendlies will be a test against Spanish opposition.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.