Following Manchester City’s shock quarter-final defeat to Southampton, a great chance has presented itself for Ten Hag to win a trophy in his first season at the helm.
The twenty-time league champions haven’t won a trophy since Jose Mourinho’s Reds beat Ajax in the Europa League 2017.
Ahead of United’s trip to the City Ground for the first leg of the last-four, United in Focus takes a look at Ten Hag’s record in semi-finals.
Erik ten Hag’s managerial record in semi-finals
The 52-year-old will be hoping to maintain his impressive semi-final record when competing in his first last-four tie with the Reds.
The three-time Eredivisie winner has won seven of his nine semi-final ties during his managerial career.
The Dutchman’s first semi-final came in May 2013 when he was in charge of Go Ahead Eagles and his side beat VVV-Venlo 4-0 on aggregate across the two legs before beating FC Volendam 3-0 in the final of the Jupiler League play-offs, which saw Go Ahead clinch promotion to the Eredivisie before Ten Hag left the Dutch outfit to take over as Bayern Munich II manager.
In the 2015/16 season, while in FC Utrecht’s dugout, Ten Hag came out on top in two semi-finals to maintain his 100% record in last-four clashes.
Having beat PSV Eindhoven in the quarter-finals, Ten Hag’s Utrecht beat VVSB 3-0 in the KNVB Beker semi-finals before being beaten 2-1 by Feyenoord in the final.
During the same campaign, Utrecht beat PEC Zwolle 5-2 on aggregate in the Conference League Play-Off semi-finals before going down 3-1 in a two-legged final against Heracles Almelo.
Ten Hag’s Utrecht went one better the following campaign after beating Heerenveen 5-2 on aggregate in the Conference League Play-Off semi-finals before producing a memorable comeback to win the final against AZ Alkmaar.
Having lost the first leg of the final 3-0, Ten Hag’s side managed to produce a remarkable turnaround and win the final on penalties having drawn level after the second 90 minutes.
The 2018-19 campaign was a memorable one for Ten Hag’s talented Ajax side.
The Amsterdam giants produced an emphatic 3-0 win to beat fierce rivals Feyenoord in the semi-finals of the KNVB Beker before beating Willem II 4-0 in the final.
Having won the domestic double in 2018-19, Ten Hag’s young Ajax team were also gaining admirers for the way they swept aside some of Europe’s biggest sides in the Champions League.
Having beat Real Madrid and Juventus in the knockout stages, Ten Hag’s side looked destined to meet Liverpool in the Champions League final before Lucas Moura’s 96th minute strike saw Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur dramatically advance to the final on away goals.
The agonising nature of the loss against Spurs will undoubtedly be the toughest loss of Ten Hag’s managerial career to date.
Over the next three seasons, Ten Hag’s Ajax reached the KNVB Beker semi-finals on all three occasions.
In the 2019-20 campaign, Ajax were knocked out by Ten Hag’s former club Utrecht while the following season Ten Hag got his hands on the domestic trophy for the second time after beating Vitesse 2-1 in the final after beating Heerenveen 3-0 in the last-four.
Ten Hag’s most recent semi-final came in March last year when Ajax beat Alkmaar 2-0 before losing 2-1 to PSV in the final.