Manchester United goalkeeping legend Peter Schmeichel has ripped into Andre Onana for his role in Arsenal’s second goal against the Red Devils on Sunday.
The Red Devils lost the game 3-1, despite at one point thinking they had gone 2-1 up, before a goal from Alejandro Garnacho was marginally ruled offside by VAR.
Arsenal’s goals came in the 96th and 101st minute, much to the frustration of Erik ten Hag and Man Utd supporters.
Schmeichel made his feelings clear after the match and directed much of his anger at Onana. Man Utd signed the 27-year-old for roughly £47m as a replacement for David de Gea, who now appears to be on his way to Saudi.
The reason Ten Hag was so desperate to sign Onana was for his abilities to play out from the back. However, he received a stark reminder on Sunday that above all, goalkeepers need to stop the ball going in their net.
After being lobbed from long-range against Lens in pre-season, Onana was also criticised for his poor attempt to deny Taiwo Awoniyi of Nottingham Forest last month.
Schmeichel believes that Onana should take some of the blame for United’s 3-1 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday, too. The game was tense at 1-1 heading into stoppage time, at which point Rice struck powerfully into the back of the net, with Onana getting a touch on its way through.
Gabriel Jesus then added another to seal the three points for the Gunners. On Rice’s strike, Schmeichel said after the game: “I’ve got no words…I’m shocked!
“It’s a terrible way to lose a game. United defended so badly for the corner at the end, Declan Rice had so much time and the goalkeeper should save it.”
Onana will hope to improve his performances for Man Utd in the future, but won’t be available for their next game against Brighton, which comes on September 16.
That is because the goalkeeper has come out of his international retirement and will now join the Cameroon national team ahead of their must-win African Cup of Nations qualifying game against Burundi on September 12.
Onana retired from international football after a fallout with national team head coach Rigobert Song during the World Cup last year.
In a statement released by the player, he wrote, “In the world of football, as in life, decisive moments arise that require crucial choices to be made.
“In recent months, I have been confronted with trials marked by injustice and manipulation. Yet my unshakeable love and attachment to my homeland, Cameroon, remain intact.”
“My desire to represent my country has never wavered since my youth, and this aspiration remains an inseparable part of my identity. Nothing and no one can shake this conviction. I answer my nation’s call with unshakeable certainty, aware that my return is not only to honour my dream but also to respond to the expectations and support of Cameroonians, who deserve a national team determined to shine.
“In the face of manipulation, lies and abuse of power, I choose to remain true to my ideals, proudly representing a country that deserves our sincere commitment. Now is the time to unite, to work in harmony for our common good: Cameroon.
“I would like to salute the government, which is working hard to build a better Cameroon for all. My thoughts are with the people of Cameroon, to whom I offer my infinite thanks for their support, and whom I look forward to seeing again.
“Time, the infallible judge of all things, will eventually enlighten us and reveal the rightness of our actions. My commitment to Cameroon remains unwavering, and I am determined to play my part in seeing it prosper.”
Reports suggest that Onana could miss up to seven Man Utd games if Cameroon do qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations, which means Ten Hag may have to rely on back-up shot stopper Altay Bayindir much more than initially anticipated.
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