Erik ten Hag says Jadon Sancho was dropped for Man United’s 3-1 defeat at Arsenal due to ‘training performance’ – but winger insists that’s ‘completely untrue’ and claims he’s been made a ‘scapegoat’

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Erik ten Hag was at war with referees and his own player Jadon Sancho on Sunday night after Declan Rice led Arsenal to a dramatic late comeback victory over Manchester United.

Ten Hag said he had left Sancho out of the United squad ‘on his performances in training’, but last night the England forward, 23, hit back on social media.

‘Please don’t believe everything you read!’ he said. ‘I will not allow people to say things that are completely untrue. I have conducted myself in training very well this week. 

‘I believe there are other reasons for this matter that I won’t go into, I’ve been a scapegoat for a long time which isn’t fair!

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‘All I want to do is play football with a smile on my face and contribute to the team. I respect all decisions that are made by the coaching staff, I play with fantastic players and I am grateful to do so, which I know every week is a challenge. I will continue to fight for this badge no matter what!’

Jadon Sancho has hit back at Erik ten Hag's reasons for leaving him out of the Man United squad

Jadon Sancho has hit back at Erik ten Hag’s reasons for leaving him out of the Man United squad

Ten Hag claimed the winger was dropped for his 'training performance', which Sanchi denies

Ten Hag claimed the winger was dropped for his ‘training performance’, which Sanchi denies

Sancho had appeared off the bench in each of United’s first three matches this season but was left out completely at the Emirates.

The row emerged after Ten Hag had raged about a string of perceived refereeing errors as United let a 1-0 lead slip to fall to 11th place in the Premier League table.

Marcus Rashford put the visitors in front in the 27th minute, but less than two minutes later their advantage was wiped out by Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard.

At 1-1 in the 88th minute, United substitute Alejandro Garnacho thought he had struck the winning goal, only for it to be ruled narrowly offside by VAR.

And in the sixth added minute, Arsenal’s Declan Rice fired in a deflected strike following a corner as Gabriel Magalhaes and United’s Jonny Evans tangled in the United area, before Gabriel Jesus raced clear to wrap up victory for the hosts.

Referee Anthony Taylor earlier waved away a penalty claim from United debutant Rasmus Hojlund after he clashed with Gabriel, and the VAR overturned a penalty awarded by Taylor when Kai Havertz went down in the box following minimal contact.

The 23-year-old took to Social Media to explain why he thinks he is being used as a 'scapecoat'

The 23-year-old took to Social Media to explain why he thinks he is being used as a ‘scapecoat’

Ten Hag turned his anger on Taylor after a second defeat in north London this season.

‘Our performance was right, everything went against us,’ fumed Ten Hag.

‘Let’s start at the penalty given (to Havertz) but rejected. Everyone can see it’s a simulation, but he did not get booked.

‘Then the foul on Hojlund in the area and I don’t think it was even noticed by the VAR.

‘Then the disallowed goal from Garnacho. They looked from the wrong angle and it’s onside. Then the Rice goal. How can they allow that? It’s a clear and obvious foul on Jonny Evans, otherwise he would have blocked the shot from Rice. So it’s a lot.’

Hojlund, the £72million signing from Atalanta, looked sharp following his 67th-minute introduction and left a more positive impression on the United manager.

‘Anthony Martial had a good game but when Hojlund came in he definitely had an impact,’ said Ten Hag.

United were beaten 3-1 by Arsenal after two goals in injury time from the hosts

United were beaten 3-1 by Arsenal after two goals in injury time from the hosts

‘He was a very good target, he was difficult to play against. Very good movement behind and he was close in the box to finishing. I’ve already mentioned I thought there could have been a penalty.’

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta praised Rice, who struck his first goal for Arsenal since his £105m move from West Ham.

‘For sure (he can add more goals),’ said Arteta. ‘His range when shooting, the accuracy and the power he generates with no space, he can do it with both feet. He’s got the timing as well to arrive in the box.

‘His position will dictate that a lot because it’s about how you arrive in the box. But he’s got the ability to do that, that’s for sure. He’s a great kid. He is fitting in brilliantly.

‘It was a tremendous performance. As a holding midfielder, how he needs to dominate his area, to break up play, he was really dominant. And then he produced a magic moment. You need to have that quality, that composure, and he had it.’


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