Erik ten Hag gesture David De Gea Manchester United 2022-23Getty Images

'I can't ignore it' - Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag unhappy with David de Gea & says the wind and Europa League BALL could be to blame for strange Real Betis performance

WHAT HAPPENED? The strange display of the Spaniard was one of the few things to lament, as United all but booked their place in the Europa League quarter-finals with a 4-1 victory thanks to an electric second-halfdisplay.

But De Gea looked off his game on a number of occasions, particularly with his lackadaisical attempts to play out from the back. While he couldn't have done anything about Ayoze Perez's pinpoint equaliser, the Spaniard was frequently let off the hook by Betis' inadequate finishing. Ten Hag admitted that his performance hasn't gone unnoticed, although attempted to offer some bizarre explanations for his 'keeper.

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WHAT THEY SAID: "Today I can't ignore [it]," the United manager told reporters. "But in many games he did really well. I don't know what the reason today was, maybe the wind, a different ball, maybe he had some problems with that but we can deal with it, he will do better on Sunday. We work on that, David is working on that, we are seeing in the season that he is improving and he'll keep improving, I'm sure."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: It's not the first time De Gea has been called into question in a cup competition this season. It was his error that put United under pressure in their FA Cup third round tie against Everton, before his side eventually won 3-1. Despite beating Peter Schmeichel's clean sheet record at the club last month, it is thought that Ten Hag will be in the market for a new goalkeeper this summer. A focus will be placed on those more adept at playing out from the back, with Brentford's David Raya heading their shortlist.


David de Gea Manchester United 2022-23GettyErik ten Hag Manchester United Betis 2022-23Getty Images

WHAT NEXT FOR DE GEA? Despite a strange display against Betis and a sorry performance against Liverpool which he had to publicly apologise for, the Spaniard will next be between the sticks when United host Southampton on Sunday.