Manchester United star admits problem that Erik ten Hag denies is ‘a fact’

Erik ten Hag may have consistently brushed off the problem of Manchester United conceding a huge amount of shots, but Diogo Dalot admits the issue is a fact and has offered a couple of explanations for it. 

The Red Devils have shown themselves unable to stop their opponents from taking as many shots at goal as possible. Although it hasn’t always cost them games and has actually made them highly entertaining, it is evident that goalie Andre Onana needs to put in a great deal of work to address this problem.

Following their 2-2 draw with Liverpool the previous weekend, Manchester United had given up 308 shots in their previous 14 games. Manchester City having given up 250 goals so far this season.

The Cherries had 20 shots to United’s eight in the 2-2 draw against Bournemouth on Saturday, continuing the trend, and Dalot isn’t acting like it’s not a problem.

‘I think it’s a fact, something we are looking for,’ said the full-back after the draw at Bournemouth. ‘Maybe we are taking too many risks, sometimes the gap between the defence and midfield is a little bit too big

‘This is why we are sometimes getting the counter-attacks too many times and are conceding too many shots, but overall we are looking forward to taking this as a learning process and trying to do better.

‘I’m disappointed. We wanted to come here and get the three points. We were down twice, so we had the hunger to fight for the game. I think we lost control in situations we shouldn’t and that was the script of the match.

‘I mean, we lost a little bit of control, especially building up from the back in situations where we shouldn’t and we conceded two goals in the first half – we could have avoided that, but overall we have the attitude to fight for the result and that’s a positive to take away.’

Ten Hag has been less accepting of the issue, even after the wild 4-3 defeat to Chelsea earlier this month, he hit out at criticism.

‘It is ridiculous,’ he said. ‘We showed we were fourth ranking before this game in goals conceded. Everyone is talking to each other after, we are good and we have good defending as a team, a good goalkeeper and a good back four so I cannot do anything with such stats.’

The Dutchman also noted after a 1-1 draw with Brentford: ‘Our results have been quite consistent from January on, but we concede shots, but we don’t concede so many goals.’

After another disappointing result at Bournemouth Ten Hag focussed on the positives, telling Match of the Day: ‘We know we have to win. We want to battle, to compete for the top positions. You see the game, we struggled first half, [Harry] Maguire was struggling but he overcame because we needed him to.

‘The second half was much better, the good thing is we fought back twice from a losing position. The team spirit is good.

‘By the end it could’ve been more composed and calm and we could’ve played more chance out. The opponent was struggling because they gave so much energy in the first half and there were so many gaps but we didn’t benefit from it.’

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