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‘Terrible’ Andre Onana mistakes make Man Utd team-mates nervous, says Paul Scholes

‘Terrible’ Andre Onana mistakes make Manchester United team-mates nervous, says Paul Scholes
André Onana, the Manchester United goalkeeper, looks back as the ball goes into his net - Reuters/Murad Sezer

André Onana was accused of making team-mates nervous and inviting a shoot-on-sight policy for opponents after his “disastrous” errors put Manchester United on the brink of Champions League elimination.

Erik ten Hag’s £47.2 million summer signing from Inter Milan made two glaring mistakes to concede Hakim Ziyech free-kicks, then conceded at his near post to allow Galatasaray claim a 3-3 draw.

Paul Scholes, the former United midfielder, said Onana’s concentration is poor and that he complicates simple saves. Owen Hargreaves, meanwhile, questioned his technique after the mistakes at Rams Park. Stephen Warnock described his errors as disastrous.

“Managers have to take responsibility for their signings,” said Scholes. “It is a shame as he looked OK in the last few weeks. He makes unconventional saves and in the Champions League I think he is too relaxed and his concentration isn’t there. For a keeper, concentration is everything.

For the second goal Onana conceded, Scholes added: “It’s a terrible mistake and I’m not sure what he’s trying to do. He makes his whole team nervous, he makes simple saves look difficult and even the third goal, I don’t think he should be beaten. He looks like he will concede every time so teams will just say ‘shoot at him’.

“You cannot legislate for goalkeeper errors and it is happening too often now. I don’t know what they do about it now.”

Hargreaves, a Champions League winner with United, added: “They were huge moments in the game. They were in control of the game and there was a mistake from Onana. They are making mistakes that you cannot make in the Champions League and conceding soft goals.

“His technique looks unconventional. There is more pressure being keeper at Manchester United, he has played in huge games before and has confidence but he has made mistakes that are weighing on him. They are things he can tidy up with the goalkeeper coach. Those simple ones bouncing around him he will have to tidy up. Players will keep trying that.”

Warnock, talking on BBC 5 Live added: “Manchester United should have won this game. André Onana has let them down.

“I don’t think Onana should be beaten at the near post. Your positioning has to be better. He’s let his team down tonight and I don’t like saying that. You have to do better in a game of this magnitude.”

“That’s a goalkeeping error [for the first goal]. It shouldn’t go in there because it’s his side. He gambles. That is a big error from Onana. Onana is having a terrible night and a night he’ll be desperate to forget about. He punches it into his own goal [for the second goal]. Disastrous.”

‌Onana’s conceded goals came with United leading

1. Hakim Ziyech (29mins)

United were in control when Bruno Fernandes conceded a free-kick defending a counter-attack. Onana constructed a poor defensive wall with Galatasaray players creating a gap once they moved out of the way. Onana was on the wrong side of his goal and Ziyech’s shot went straight down the middle. “The keeper should have saved it. It was fatal to move to that left hand side,” said Scholes on TNT Sports.

‌2. Ziyech (62mins)

Similar distance, this time more to the left-hand side of the penalty area. Ziyech’s free-kick was straight at Onana and should have been gathered easily, even if it skidded in front of the Cameroon international goalkeeper. Onana appeared to attempt to scoop the ball clear but it squirmed over the line.

3. Kerem Akturkoglu (71mins)

Galatasaray’s equaliser was an excellent strike from their substitute Akturkoglu but it still went into the near post of Onana’s goal. Scholes, analysing the game as a pundit, suggested it should have been saved.


Ten Hag slams defending – but refuses to blame Onana

Ten Hag slammed United’s defending but refused to blame Onana after two more blunders from the goalkeeper proved costly against Galatasaray.

United have now shipped 14 goals in five Champions League outings but Ten Hag opted not to single out Onana for criticism despite his dismay at the goals his side conceded.

“We win and lose together,” the United manager said. “He [Onana] is OK. As I said, it is not about individuals. Individual errors in football can make a difference and you take responsibility for it, but it is always about the team.

Erik ten Hag - ‘Terrible’ Andre Onana mistakes make Man Utd team-mates nervous, says Paul Scholes
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag refused to point the finger of blame at any one individual - AFP/Yasin Akgul

“We played so good I have to compliment the team, but also I have to criticise the team. We are not defending good enough.

“We are leading 3-1, and that makes a difference. In the Champions League you get punished for it [mistakes] so we have to learn from it.

“I am responsible for this [throwing away leads]. But know that we are in a project, we are going forwards and making improvements. I am sure we will be successful in the long term. I am disappointed because we should have won the game.”

Onana had celebrated wildly after United scored their second but Ten Hag rejected suggestions his goalkeeper had lost focus and preferred to praise Ziyech’s free-kicks.

“It is difficult to make that connection, to see that as a cause for or related to the misfocus,” he said. “It is the brilliance of Hakim, the first free-kick. He has scored so many goals against the best goalkeepers in the world in that way.”

Fernandes rued United’s defending and wastefulness, with Facundo Pellistri spurning a glorious chance late on. “We concede really bad goals,” the United captain said. “We had far too many chances to score another goal and have the game closed. And we are not clinical enough.

“Every time we concede a goal we have many chances to score again. We have to control our games.

“It’s not the first game we have like this. Even Copenhagen, we had 3-2, you have to be smart enough and manage the game better. Everyone has to step up and take responsibility for their own mistakes.”

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