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Ten Hag rues poor finishing but pleased with United’s physical edge

Manchester United were again guilty of poor finishing in Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle United in the Premier League but manager Erik ten Hag was pleased his players matched the physicality of their opponents.

Ten Hag had been critical of his side’s finishing against Omonia Nicosia in the Europa League on Thursday, when Scott McTominay’s stoppage time goal gave them a 1-0 win over the Cypriots.

Marcus Rashford and Fred passed up late chances on Sunday for the hosts, who are fifth in the league, three points behind Chelsea in fourth.

“We are disappointed we didn’t win as the performance was good,” said Ten Hag. “A clean sheet, we pressed well from the front to the back and we controlled it.

“We were a little bit erratic in the first half. You see a physical team as Newcastle, we matched them, at least. In the end, we could have won and we deserved to win.

“It’s a big compliment to the team that we could deserve this with a physical performance against maybe the best physical team in the league.

“In the end, we broke them but didn’t kill them by not scoring,” the Dutchman added. “So I’m pleased with the performance but disappointed by the result.”

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