Ten Haag still has strong faith in Onana
“When asked about Andre Onana’s ability to make saves, Eric ten Haag said that statistically, Onana is the second best goalkeeper in the Premier League,” soccer media outlet Tribuna reported on Feb. 2 (KST).
United drew 3-3 away to Galatasaray in the fifth leg of their 2023/24 UEFA Champions League (UCL) Group A tie at the Ali Samiyen Spor Complex in Turkuye Istanbul on Oct. 30 (ET).
United got off to a flying start, taking an early 2-0 lead. But the joy was short-lived. In the 28th minute, Ziyech and Icardi combined for a perfect free kick to pull a goal back.
It looked like McTominay was going to score the winner with another runaway goal, but it was a free kick, and this time it was Ziyech. In the 16th minute of the second half, he took a free kick, this time from distance, but Marshall was in the way. Onana did enough to stop it, but it was still a goal.
Onana has improved his form in the league, but when it comes to the Champions League, he makes mistakes, which is why he has the lowest rating again. In the end, Akhturkolu scored a stunning equalizer in the 25th minute to draw the game 3-3.
Onana is at his best in the Champions League. Onana had a horrendous performance in this match, with four saves, one mistake that led to a goal, three conceded goals, a 48% pass completion rate, and a 35% long pass completion rate, earning him a rating of 4.8, the lowest rating for both teams combined.
Ten Hagh took Onana under his wing. “His expected goals against is the second best in the Premier League,” says Ten Haag. He’s doing well, but we know he made mistakes in the Champions League. But in the first five months he’s done well.”
He continued: “You saw how he reacts when he doesn’t perform well, like against Munich. Against Burnley, he was outstanding. He’s a strong character, he’s got a strong personality, so he’ll get through it.”
Onana is actually second in the Premier League in saves and clean sheets, behind Luton Town goalkeeper Tomasz Kaminski, so Ten Haag is statistically correct. But there are too many important games, especially in the Champions League, that he has botched.
United’s place in the Champions League is in jeopardy with one game left in the group stage. According to statistics outlet Opta, United have conceded 33 goals in all competitions this season, their worst record in 20 games since conceding 43 goals in the 1962/63 season.
The Red Devils have just four points from five Champions League matches and will have to beat Bayern Munich in their last game and hope Galatasaray don’t beat them in Copenhagen. United have also had a difficult start to life in the Premier League, conceding 16 goals in 13 games and sitting in sixth place.
Fans are very angry with Onana for making a costly mistake. One fan wrote: “He should be on the bench against Newcastle. If he starts, he will lose all credibility,” said one fan.
“He’s almost responsible for our CL exit this year. His form is at rock bottom at the moment” and “What’s really crazy is that he’s now playing like De Gea from last season (minus the saves), not the passing goalkeeper we paid for”.