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Erik ten Hag rips into his players as they are blown away by Aston Villa

Unai Emery enjoyed a dream start to life in the Aston Villa dugout as irked Erik ten Hag admitted his meek United side deserved to lose in Birmingham.

Erik ten Hag talks to his players at Villa Park© Getty Images

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Manchester United manager declared his side’s defensive display was unacceptable as they went down to a 3-1 defeat at Aston Villa.

Unai Emery enjoyed a dream start to life in the Aston Villa dugout as irked Erik ten Hag admitted his meek United side deserved to lose in Birmingham.

Recently recruited in as Steven Gerrard’s successor, former Arsenal boss Emery masterminded his new club’s first Premier League win against the Red Devils at Villa Park since August 1995.

Leon Bailey struck an early blow that Lucas Digne added to with an excellent free-kick in just the 11th minute, only for Jacob Ramsey to inadvertently deflect home a Luke Shaw strike at the end of the half to leave United trailing 2-1 at the break.

But the 21-year-old Ramsey struck a fine effort at the right end early in the second period to wrap up a 3-1 triumph as Emery ended Villa’s 23-match winless league run at home to United.

"It's not acceptable that you concede a goal so quickly in the second half on the counter,” said a clearly furious Ten Hag.

”Our players are experienced. You have to read the game and get right the organisation. Not concede two goals - that's totally unnecessary.

"You have to win your battles. At the start of the game we could have been better on ball. It starts with the players following the rules.

"It looked like they were fresher. That's not acceptable. Players have to take responsibility and be ready.

"We lost the game at the start of first half and second half and that is not acceptable. They looked more fresh and more ready. We need to be more sharp. The result is really clear. It never lies. Today we were not good enough.

"We didn't get the right organisation. Wee created chances and good chances at 2-1. But you are really disappointed to concede at the start of the second half."

Asked if he felt his side deserved anymore, Ten Hag said: “No.

“You lose the game start of the first half, start of the second half. When you start a game like this you get beat.

“I think the free-kick is stoppable because the wall is too far. OK, small detail but details make a difference in top football.

“But it tells everything from us because we were not fresh.

“When you start the game, you always have the attitude and that was I think one of our best standards.

“We are really front foot, we are really ready to play in all the games until now. Today we were not from the start. Then you’re running behind the facts.

“We didn’t let them run, especially at the start of the game, we didn’t follow the rules in defending and we lost our battles.”

Ten Hag said the number of crosses sent in to stand-in skipper Cristiano Ronaldo during the first half was “stupid”.

But the United boss is not getting carried away by his side’s first defeat since the 6-3 derby mauling at Manchester City.

“I am disappointed but I know in the process it will not only go the way up,” he added. “Setbacks will come and we have to deal with that.”

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