Coventry madness to cost Erik ten Hag his job at Man Utd, despite winning on pens

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Erik ten Hag’s Man Utd narrowly avoided disaster against Coventry City (Image: Getty) Jamie Carragher believes that Manchester United’s scrappy win over Coventry City will spell the end of Erik ten Hag’s tenure at Old Trafford. The Red Devils survived a dramatic comeback from the second-tier side to win on penalties in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final, but it may not be enough to secure the manager’s future beyond this summer.

United are currently seventh in the Premier League table and clinging onto European qualification after crashing out of this season’s Champions League group stages. The club’s new part-owner, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, was sat next to Avram Glazer at Wembley as the two boardroom heavyweights watched United surrender a 3-0 lead against Championship side Coventry before scraping a fortunate victory on penalties. And Liverpool legend Carragher feels that the nature of the display will be too concerning for Ten Hag to come back from.

Jamie Carragher believes that Erik ten Hag’s time at Man Utd could be up (Image: Getty) “I don’t see how Erik ten Hag stays. It’s just performance after performance. I would imagine that is probably the most embarrassed dressing room of a team that has just won a big game.”

United were cruising towards what looked like a routine victory when Bruno Fernandes’ deflected strike put them three up at Wembley. Scott McTominay and Harry Maguire had each scored earlier in the game as Coventry scrambled to remain within touching distance. It wasn’t until Ellis Simms scored in the 71st minute that the Sky Blues kick-started their incredible fightback.

Callum O’Hare notched minutes later before Haji Wright’s last-gasp penalty sent the contest to extra-time, where Victor Torp saw a stoppage-time finish agonisingly chalked off for a marginal offside. It ultimately went all the way to a shootout, where Rasmus Hojlund scored the decisive spot-kick to set up a Manchester derby final for the second year running. Manchester City will go into the match as favorites, and another United defeat could sway Sir Jim further towards sacking Ten Hag before the start of 2024/25.

England manager Gareth Southgate is among those rumored to be on the radar at Old Trafford in case they decide to make a change. Speaking after the Coventry win, Ten Hag admitted that his side were lucky to make it through. “We can play at very high levels, but we can go to very low levels in the same game,” he said.

“That’s not explainable. I have to teach my players, clear. We have to do better on such occasions.

On several occasions, we let each other down. Today we got away with it.”

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