Manchester United fans were not happy during the second half of their 3-1 defeat against Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford.
Rasmus Hojlund, who thought he scored his first goal for the club, was a lively presence throughout his Old Trafford debut but couldn’t score his first goal for United.
Erik ten Hag made a rather bizarre and wildly unpopular decision midway through the second half of the defeat to Roberto De Zerbi’s side.
With United 2-0 down to De Zerbi’s side, Ten Hag’s side needed a goal to get themselves back into the game but the Dutchman decided to call upon Anthony Martial.
As mentioned, Ten Hag decided to bring on Martial in place of the Dane and the home fans were seemingly not very happy with that decision.
There were mass boos of disapproval towards the Dutchman’s decision and that reaction was seemingly justified as Martial, unsurprisingly, looked invisible when he came off the bench.
Telegraph journalist James Ducker reported: “Hojlund brought off and is replaced by Martial – boos reverberate around Old Trafford. Not a popular decision.”
Hojlund’s removal with half an hour still to play caused widespread anger and the decision has to be questioned.
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Hojlund looked lively but there may well be another reason for the striker’s substitution.
Hojlund only made his debut for the club against Arsenal, over a month after he had joined the club so fitness may well be an issue.
With a crucial game against Bayern Munich coming up next week, it seems Ten Hag is keen to protect Hojlund and make sure the forward is fit and firing against a side that will be a tough game for the Red Devils to get anything out of.
The substitution of Hojlund was bound to cause frustration among the home fans but the decision should be looked at in a different context as Ten Hag looking to rest his best forward.
The depth, or lack thereof, in place of the 20-year-old, is perhaps more frustrating for the United faithful.