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Erik ten Hag explains why Alejandro Garnacho was not subbed on for Man United vs Burnley



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Alejandro Garnacho was an unused substitute during Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday.

The Reds earned a crucial three points after a difficult spell of form, however, the performance was anything but convincing at Turf Moor.

Fortunately, Bruno Fernandes’ incredible strike on the turn of half-time ended up being the difference between the two sides. Yet, the second half was a spell of constant pressure on the United team.

Erik ten Hag only made two substitutes during the game. He introduced Raphael Varane to the game after 79 minutes and then Sofyan Amrabat came on to make his debut but was placed at left-back.

There were no offensive changes despite calls from the away fans at Burnley. Alejandro Garnacho was the main player that supporters were calling for as they chanted ‘Viva Garnacho!’ throughout stages of the second half.

The 18-year-old winger – who has made a name for himself by making an impact on games coming from the bench – did not appear, however.

Following the victory, Ten Hag explained that he did not want to change the team because he wanted to ensure organisation was kept in the closing stages.

In fact, both of the changes he did make were almost forced upon him. Sergio Reguilon was ill throughout the game and had to come off, whilst 35-year-old Jonny Evans was not expected to play a full game on his return to Premier League action.

“He (Garnacho) was in against (Bayern) Munich and I thought our team was playing very well,” Ten Hag stated. “So I wouldn’t change that tonight because this game was a demand to keep that organisation. That’s why I wouldn’t change.

“I saw the players were still capable and the fitness levels were good and the energy was still there, it was only 1-0. I wouldn’t change that because I also know that Burnley in one moment and in this moment where everything is against us – we have seen again a disallowed goal.

“I don’t want to say if it is the right decision or wrong decision, but again there was a moment that was not on our side. I wanted to avoid that and keep this team on because they did well.”

It was not the first time this term that fans were unhappy about Ten Hag’s in-game substitutions. The Old Trafford crowd booed the decision to replace Rasmus Hojlund with Anthony Martial against Brighton, although Ten Hag explained that it was a pre-planned move for the Dane to come off in his first start for the club.

Ultimately, his decisions will be backed if United win games.