The Red Devils, who needed a win to be in control of their European destiny, twice squandered a two-goal lead at Galatasaray. A thrilling contest eventually ended 3-3 with Ziyech scoring two free-kicks for the Turkish outfit.
Ten Hag had coached Ziyech when the pair were at Ajax and they shared a warm embrace after the full-time whistle. The United boss smiled as he hugged his former player, who is on loan at Galatasaray from Chelsea. That act has angered his current fanbase however, who felt the timing was certainly ill-judged.
One said on social media: "State of this… just had us pretty much knocked out of the CL and he's having a laugh with the opposition. Should be writing his resignation letter." Another added: "Did Sir Alex Ferguson ever do this? Knocks me sick when I see managers be all smiles when their team has just had a shocker."
Ten Hag has felt the heat in his second season with performances not what were expected. He largely impressed in his debut campaign, but has seen the team go backwards with their return to the Champions League potentially ending with them bottom of their group.
The draw, which came after Alejandro Garnacho and Bruno Fernandes had put them 2-0 up and then Scott McTominay had made it 3-1, means they must beat Bayern Munich in their final game and hope that Galatasaray don't see off Copenhagen.
Despite more question marks being levelled at Andre Onana, who was at fault for at least one of the goals, Ten Hag shouldered the responsibility as United let leads slip. "I am responsible for this," said Ten Hag. "We know we are in a project. We are making improvements, so that's very hopeful.
"We are going in the right direction so I know we will be successful in the long-term, but if you want to stay in the Champions League you need to win these games. We were winning and then we're losing it. We should have taken three points, that's clear. We did this in other games. I was pleased with how we played but at the same time I have to criticise the team because the defending is not good enough. We are leading 3-1 and we cannot afford mistakes as it makes a difference."
Join our new WhatsApp community! Click this link to receive your daily dose of Mirror Football content. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like. If you’re curious, you can read our Privacy Notice.
TNT Sports gives you access to games across the Premier League, Champions League, Europa League, Serie A and many more. You can also watch the biggest clashes in boxing, UFC, WWE and the get exclusive action from MLB all for one payment every month. You can watch TNT Sports through BT, EE, Sky, and Virgin Media.