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Man Utd 2-1 Chelsea: Erik ten Hag says it never felt like a crisis at Old Trafford as Mauricio Pochettino says his Blues side were tired

Manchester United returned to winning ways by beating Chelsea 2-1 thanks to a double from Scott McTominay; Erik ten Hag said his side never felt like they were in a crisis after mixed results; Mauricio Pochettino said his Chelsea side were too tired from the weekend

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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag says the club is 'not distracted' by outside criticism and insists the team is moving in the right direction, as they defeated Chelsea 2-1 at Old Trafford

Erik Ten Hag praised Manchester United's "dominating" performance against Chelsea but said the situation surrounding his side has never felt like a crisis this season.

United took points from a top-half opponent for the first time this season with a deserved 2-1 win over Chelsea at Old Trafford, having endured days of reports of dressing-room disharmony on the back of Saturday's poor defeat at Newcastle.

Ten Hag dropped Marcus Rashford for the visit of Chelsea in a bold move but was rewarded with a performance of endeavour and spirit from his side, who could easily have won by more.

After the game, he insisted the issues surrounding the club this season - including their worst start to a season from their first 15 games in six decades, as well as various off-field problems - had never reached crisis point despite the noise coming from outside Old Trafford.

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Sky Sports’ Anton Toloui and Ron Walker discuss Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Chelsea as Antony replaced Marcus Rashford in the team amid reports of dressing-room disharmony.

"We started very well, very dynamic, brave and proactive," he said. "We created a lot of chances in that moment, and could have been two or three up.

"We dominated the opponent in and out of possession. It was very enjoyable how the team played today.

"It hasn't felt like a crisis for us. We've kept calm, worked on the process and we know where we have to build and what we have to build on.

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"We're going in the right direction, we don't get distracted from criticism around us, we are very critical on ourselves and know we are not quickly satisfied, we want to do better.

"If we do things badly, we want to put that right and want to keep going in the process. The season is long, we have to improve a lot if we want to be successful, but this team is capable of that."

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea.

Scott McTominay's double took him to five Premier League goals for the season, already his best tally in a Manchester United shirt with more than half of the campaign still to play.

The Scottish midfielder has been handed a more advanced role at times by Ten Hag, who praised his "smell" for goals and said he wanted to see the 26-year-old in the opposition box even more.

"McTominay has the skills, when he is arriving in the right moment," he said. "He has the smell. Then he has a very good finish, but dynamics, sometimes he's deep and sometimes he is further forward.

"In our tactics and our planning, it's often that we want him to be high, so the team has to make it happen that he can come into those positions where he's around a striker and then he has a very good smell of when to arrive and he's a good finisher too.

"It's the plan, it's not hard - it's a matter of organisation. That's our job to get the players in the right position, but it means other players have to play deeper."

Pochettino: We couldn't match Man Utd's energy

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Chelsea manager Mauricio Poccettino cites the quick turnaround between games as a reason for his team's performance in their 2-1 defeat to Manchester United.

Mauricio Pochettino said he was not disappointed by Chelsea's defeat, despite the result leaving them only a point closer to fourth-placed Manchester City than the relegation zone - and having lost as many games as in the whole of the 2021/22 season already.

He defended his players' lack of energy and said they had been affected by playing for more than half of Sunday's 3-2 win over Brighton with 10 men because of Conor Gallagher's red card in that game.

"I'm not worried because there's too many circumstances which need to explain why we didn't perform," he said.

"To play with Brighton with one less for so long may have affected the energy, and we need to recover too many players from injury, to have different options and be more competitive.

"That's not an excuse, only that they were better. In which percentage? Maybe 10 per cent, but we need to be focused, recover the players and get ready for Sunday.

"We miss players, we played nearly with the same players we faced Brighton with, and we were a man down for 60 minutes. Manchester United had a day more to prepare, and we had many young players on our bench. It's not an excuse, but that's the reality.

"I'm not disappointed because we gave everything, but we didn't match the energy or aggressiveness. We created chances, maybe enough to draw the game."

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