Manchester United claim ‘physical’ Newcastle had an ‘advantage’ as VAR beneficiary hailed

Erik ten Hag has claimed that his Manchester United side were at a ‘real disadvantage’ to Newcastle United after the Magpies had an extra day to prepare for Wednesday’s game.

Newcastle played Brighton at St James’ Park on Saturday – 24 hours before Manchester United took on title-chasing Arsenal – but that additional recovery time counted for little last night. It was Manchester United who ultimately triumphed after Newcastle missed a host of chances and made some sloppy errors at the back in a 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag, regardless, highlighted the schedule following Manchester United’s win after making a similar point both before and after Newcastle defeated his side in the reverse fixture back in December.

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“We were at a disadvantage to Newcastle,” the Red Devils boss told MUTV. “They played on Saturday. We played in a tough game on Sunday against the number two of the ranking so we were in a real disadvantage, but the lads did very good.”

Ten Hag went on to admit that it was ‘always difficult’ for Manchester United to play against a ‘very physical’ Newcastle side on a night the Red Devils were relieved not to concede a penalty after Sofyan Amrabat sent Anthony Gordon tumbling down inside the box after catching the Magpies forward on the heel.

Referee Robert Jones did not give a spot-kick and VAR did not ask the official to take another look on the pitchside monitor, which left Gordon questioning ‘what was the point’ of the technology. Eddie Howe called it a ‘stonewall’ penalty, but ten Hag felt Amrabat had one of his best games in a Manchester United shirt.

“Especially against a team like Newcastle, you know they have a lot of physical power,” he added. “You have to match that but at the same time you have to play football and I think we found a really good balance with this.”

View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/manchester-united-claim-physical-newcastle-29180217

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