Erik ten Hag is adamant that Manchester United’s one-sided derby defeat to Manchester City did not reflect a gulf in class between the two rivals.

Ten Hag Denies Derby Loss Shows Gulf Between United And City

The United boss pointed to injuries and “small margins” following the 3-1 loss at the Etihad.


Marcus Rashford had given his side an early lead with a sublime long-range strike, but City dominated thereafter and claimed derby bragging rights with three second-half goals.

However, speaking after the game, Ten Hag insisted that the result and City’s supremacy in the game did not reflect an overall gulf in class between the Manchester rivals.


“No, I don’t think so, absolutely not,” he responded when asked if there was a clear gap between them.

“We have many problems in injuries and still we had an opportunity.


“Really small margins, we could have scored the second goal in a debatable moment [when Rashford went down before City’s equaliser].

“We can be competitive and we showed in the FA Cup final against them when it was close but City is in this moment, don’t forget this; they are the best team in the world.”


However, City outperformed their neighbours in basically every statistical metric as they piled the pressure on after going behind so early to Rashford’s strike.

Ten Hag’s side had just 26% of the possession, 60 fewer touches in the opposition penalty area and only attempted one shot after the 23rd minute.


They also completed a massive 223 fewer passes than their rivals, per Opta.

Read more: Pochettino Defends ‘Brave’ Chelsea After Win Over Leeds


The result leaves United down in sixth, 11 points off fourth-placed Aston Villa with 11 games to go, and thus facing an uphill battle to qualify for the Champions League. City, meanwhile, sit 18 points ahead of them in second place.

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