Erik ten Hag wants Jurgen Klopp to gain status but Cristiano Ronaldo and Andre Onana show Liverpool the truth

While everyone is laughing at Chelsea, Manchester United’s circus may have escaped full scrutiny. Erik ten Hag hoped that a dramatic late win over Brentford would avoid such criticism despite Mauricio Pochettino starting to turn things around at Stamford Bridge, but reality is becoming hard to ignore.

Even with two stoppage-time goals from the out-of-favour Scott McTominay securing victory, United still trail Liverpool by four points having played a game more. As of the 92nd minute, Ten Hag were on course to suffer their fifth league defeat of the season.

More worryingly, the losses were deserved, while the wins were far from convincing. Apart from their final game at home to Brentford, Ten Hag’s only points came from wins against Nottingham Forest, Burnley and Wolves, who missed out on Andre Onana. An obvious foul that resulted in an apology from PGMOL.

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Unfortunately for him, Onana has been at the heart of United’s problems. Of course not everything can be blamed on him, but he made a mistake again against Brentford which resulted in McTominay dumping him at the death.

The manager’s continued faith in his goalkeeper suggests Ten Hag is keen to rise to the level of Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola. It was a statement of intent on how he wanted to play the game – but it came at the expense of points.

Guardiola, of course, had a similar experience with Claudio Bravo at the start of his tenure, while Klopp had a similar alliance with Loris Karius as his number one. But the two coaches inspired enough overall improvement in their squads at Manchester City and Liverpool respectively to make these mistakes appear more acceptable.

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