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‘He knows that’: Erik ten Hag shares verdict on Casemiro display in Manchester United defeat to Arsenal

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Manchester United have slipped to another Old Trafford defeat after losing 1-0 to Arsenal – and Casemiro’s role in the loss was notable.

United were looking for a response after the 4-0 drubbing at Crystal Palace but just couldn’t unlock the Arsenal defence.

Leandro Trossard scored the only goal of the game with United simply lacking the quality in the final third to get back into the game.

The absences of Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford were certainly felt as United managed just two shots on target from 14 attempts.

United just couldn’t test David Raya enough and drew a second blank in the space of less than a week.

The really frustrating thing for Erik ten Hag and United is that the Arsenal winner could have been so easily preventable.

Manchester United's Dutch manager Erik ten Hag (L) talks to Manchester United's Brazilian midfielder #18 Casemiro during the English Premier League...

Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Sadly, Casemiro was the man at fault.

The Brazilian endured a nightmare at Palace in midweek but Ten Hag stuck with him at centre back – most probably due to a complete lack of other options.

Casemiro certainly isn’t a centre back and it showed against Arsenal.

After coming back to create a potential passing angle for Andre Onana, Casemiro ambled up the pitch far too slowly.

That meant Kai Havertz was played well onside and he found Trossard to score the goal.

Casemiro may not be too used to being the last defender but to not realise the magnitude of the situation was alarming for a player of his experience.

Ten Hag has now been asked about Casemiro’s display – and accepted that the error for the goal just wasn’t good enough.

Speaking to beIN Sports, Ten Hag did though praise Casemiro for a ‘good performance’ outside of his mistake for the goal.

“He shouldn’t be there in that moment, that is also obvious. And he knows that. But, for the rest that you see, it was a good performance from him,” said Ten Hag.

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Ten Hag will hopefully have centre back options for the FA Cup final

The Premier League season is almost over now; just one more week of this rather miserable campaign to go.

United face Newcastle United and then Brighton and Hove Albion to end the season.

The focus may already be turning to the FA Cup final though with United having a chance to pick up silverware against Manchester City.

The hope is that Casemiro won’t be needed to play centre back at Wembley with United centre backs coming back to fitness.

Lisandro Martinez should be ready by then and there is hope that Harry Maguire will return in time to play.

Willy Kambwala came off the bench against Arsenal too, so we shouldn’t be seeing Casemiro line up at centre back against City.

In fact, that could easily be Casemiro’s final game in a United shirt amid doubts over his future; let’s hope he goes out strong if that is the case.

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