Manchester United 4-0 Liverpool: Evaluated the debut of Erik ten Hag | football news

After Manchester United defeated rivals Liverpool 4-0 in Bangkok, Sky Sports looks at Erik ten Hag’s debut, how his players adapted to his methods and what his performance said about the season ahead…

Ten Hag’s methods are already paying off

Even before Manchester United’s three-goal flurry in the first half, it was clear that the principles that Erik ten Hag had been meticulously instilling in his players during pre-season – sharper reaction, security in transition, confidence on the ball and cohesion without it) had been taken into account.

There was a spark to Manchester United’s game, a hunger in their pressing but, crucially, this was shown by a united team rather than individuals plowing their own furrows. It was a convincing watch.

Seeing how the training methods translate seamlessly into match situations so early in his tenure will have encouraged the Dutchman, despite his insistence on downplaying the importance of the result.

A 4-0 win over Liverpool in Bangkok won’t do any good if United turn the tables when the teams meet in the Premier League at Old Trafford on August 22, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the positives they were plentiful.

With a pre-season under a new manager focused predominantly on physical and tactical conditioning and getting the players to believe in his principles and philosophy, the United players scored well. Now, with the Australian leg of the tour to come and the Premier League season on the horizon, Ten Hag will demand consistency.

Is Sancho the answer to Man Utd’s problems on the right?

Jadon Sancho sacked in Man Utd’s first game in Bengkok

For so long, Manchester United have lacked balance due to a dearth of forwards who are comfortable playing on the right of attack.

The arrival of Jadon Sancho last season seemed to be the solution. But a disappointing start on his return to England eventually saw Sancho move back to the left as Marcus Rashford battled for his form and fitness.

There has been talk of a move for Ajax right-winger Antony to fill the gap, but Sancho’s promising first-half performance in Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Liverpool may alter United’s priorities at home. transfer market.

It bears mentioning that this is pre-season and Sancho faced a weakened Liverpool defence, with Jurgen Klopp preferring to start the game with his youngsters. But the 22-year-old seemed comfortable on that right side and had much more confidence in his overall game.

That was evident when he opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a serene shot on one occasion that had drifted wide to the left. Fluidity in the forward three is likely to be a key part of United’s play under Ten Hag this season.

Sancho’s link play was greatly improved and he combined well with Diogo Dalot superimposed from the wing, an option not always available to the England striker when he played on the right flank last season under Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Signing another right-back to compete with Dalot will be key to ensuring whoever plays on the right flank has the tools to be a threat this season rather than being isolated.

Ten Hag will hope that Sancho can repeat and improve on this performance when the games get competitive, because he has few other viable options to the right.

the second coming of martial

Anthony Martial celebrates after scoring during the pre-season friendly match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Rajamangala Stadium on July 12, 2022 in Bangkok.
Anthony Martial added United’s third with a brilliant solo effort in the 33rd minute

Anthony Martial’s departure on loan to Sevilla in January was met with unanimous agreement among the Manchester United faithful.

His exciting first days in Manchester, backed by that impressive solo goal against Liverpool, were but a distant memory when he left for Spain.

Like many who had famously donned the red shirt in the years after Ferguson, the abundance of talent and potential did not materialize at United on a consistent basis, and the consensus was that the time had come for the club to cut its losses.

The decision appeared to be vindicated by Martial scoring just one goal during his time at the La Liga club, as many as he had managed in the first half of the season at Old Trafford.

At the age of 26, Martial’s return to Manchester has the feel of a last-chance saloon, a final opportunity to repay the faith the club showed in signing him from Monaco. After seven years, the club is within its rights to demand a more consistent return on his time and investment.

Fortunately, Martial’s second coming might be better than the first. There were nuances of his iconic first goal for United in 2015, with Liverpool once again serving as the role in which the Frenchman wrote the start of a new chapter in his career.

In trademark Martial style, the forward slid effortlessly into the Liverpool box before delicately scoring United’s third goal over Alisson Becker.

It was a finish, a goal, that invoked all the emotions of his first time in United colours, only this time the patience he once enjoyed has been replaced by a deadline to meet.

How did Malacia do in her debut?

Tyrell Malacia
Summer signing Tyrell Malacia made his first appearance for Man Utd

It was a tough first outing for Tyrell Malacia to show Manchester United fans what he is all about.

He entered half-time as Ten Hag made 10 changes to his starting XI, bringing in a mix of players from the academy and the squad in wet conditions in Bangkok.

A lack of familiarity in the new United side slowed play in the second half, but the Dutch international still showed glimpses of his promise.

Ten Hag describes the 22-year-old as “the modern full-back”, while Malacia promised to bring good “defence, assists and energy” to United this season.

His arrival likely marks a departure for Alex Telles, who was used at centre-back against Liverpool in the absence of the injured Harry Maguire.

Telles struggled to convince in an unfamiliar position and was often rescued by fellow centre-back Eric Bailly, who was named man of the match on the Manchester United website after an impressive return to the team.

Which young people impressed Ten Hag?

Facundo Pellistri is congratulated by Charlie Savage after scoring Man Utd's fourth goal against Liverpool
Facundo Pellistri is congratulated by Charlie Savage after scoring Man Utd’s fourth goal against Liverpool

There was an opportunity for some of United’s younger players to show their talents to Ten Hag in the second half.

Charlie Savage, Zidane Iqbal, Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo were introduced as the Dutchman made 10 changes.

Robbie’s son Savage and Iqbal held their own in midfield against Liverpool, who for the last 30 minutes of the half played as an almost complete team. The duo made their senior debut together against Young Boys in the Champions League at Old Trafford last season under Ralf Rangnick and will hope to get more first-team minutes under Ten Hag this season.

Iqbal, already a full international for Iraq, showed off his variety of passing and dribbling skills, while Savage put on a composed performance and kept possession well.

Pellistri and Amad combined well for the fourth goal, and found a way to end the game through Andrew Robertson and Virgil van Dijk. The Uruguayan had a lucky break with his shot, with the ball coming off his heel before hitting the post on the way in.

Ten Hag is known for bleeding players from the academy after his record at Ajax, which will give this latest batch of United hopefuls pep for the rest of the season.

Shola Shoretire and Álvaro Fernández did not join the team for the pre-season tour as they are expected to leave on loan this season.

Meanwhile, Alejandro Garnacho, Hannibal Mejbri and Ethan Laird were unused substitutes in Bangkok. Sure, everyone will play a part in the remaining games.

There is no need for Liverpool to panic.


Jurgen Klopp warned Liverpool supporters this week that they “need not to worry” ahead of the new season, and more perspective is needed after this result.

The German manager started a second-row winger before making 10 changes in the 30th minute. Some will say that the massive substitutions could have been a reaction to going 2-0 behind, but it was probably the plan all along. How Liverpool failed to score in the 90 minutes after taking 18 shots is a mystery.

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Manager Jurgen Klopp says changes had to be made to Liverpool’s squad but downplayed concerns about a lack of midfield signings.

Liverpool heavy hitters Fabinho, Darwin Nunez, Andy Robertson, Thiago, Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold were introduced with 30 minutes to go. They improved during that spell when Salah hit a post and Nunez missed a kangaroo, but conceded a disappointing fourth in which Eric Bailly was allowed to emerge untroubled in midfield.

Núñez provided a presence up front and is willing to run behind, which is different from what Firmino brings, who prefers to crouch down more and let the full-backs run behind. The first signs were promising.

It was clear that Liverpool saw this game as little more than a physical exercise to benefit their whole team. Losing to your rivals by this score always hurts, but Klopp and his team will not stop for long.

What’s next for Man Utd and Liverpool?

Manchester United’s pre-season tour takes them to Australia, where they take on Melbourne Victory in Melbourne on Friday at 11:05am, Crystal Palace in Melbourne on Tuesday at 11:10am and Aston Villa in Perth on the 23rd. July at 10:45 am

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