Manchester United Thrash Liverpool In Bangkok
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By Our Correspondent
New Manchester United manager, Erik Ten Hag has began his Red Devils reign in blistering fashion as is wads on Tuesday thrashed fellow EPL rivals, Liverpool 4-0 in a preseason match in Bangkok
It is the first unofficial match the new coach is overseeing since take over from Ralf Ragnick at the end of last season.
The bulk of the damage was done in the first half, when Jadon Sancho, Fred and Anthony Martial all netted, and while Liverpool dominated the second half for the most part, it was United who grabbed the final goal on the break through Facundo Pellistri.
Liverpool used 32 players in all, fielding three separate outfield sides, all of whom played 30 minutes. Darwin Nunez and Fabio Carvalho made their debuts, with Carvalho hitting the post (Luis Diaz and Mo Salah later did the same) and Nunez having a couple of late chances to score.
Liverpool had chances of their own, with Fabio Carvalho and Luis Diaz both hitting the post. The Reds made 10 changes after 30 minutes of the game.
The team which finished the half was: Alisson, Frauendorf, Matip, R Williams, Tsimikas, Clarkson, Bajcetic, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Clark, Jones
A further batch of changes are expected after an hour, when the likes of Salah, Van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold, Thiago and Darwin Nunez should all come on.
All eyes were on the Dutchman before kick-off to see how the former Ajax manager would set his side up and how they would fare against a side that Ten Hag described as ‘maybe the best team in the world’.
Though the nature of the game and the below-strength side picked by Liverpool means nobody at Old Trafford should be getting carried away with the result, there was still much to learn from Ten Hag’s first game in charge and it was a good marker for how the Dutchman plans to play this season.
Aside from the obvious gaps in quality, the biggest difference between United and their main rivals in recent years has been playing style.
While Liverpool and Manchester City work as ferociously off the ball as with it, United maintained a deep-lying defensive line under Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Ralf Rangnick attempted to change that when he was appointed, selecting a 4-2-2-2 system in his first game against Crystal Palace. But the United starting XI adhered to his tactics for all of 35 minutes and it was quickly abandoned, whether by choice or the team’s inability to follow the instructions.
Ten Hag’s Ajax side were well known for their pressing ability and it was clear from the offset in Bangkok that he had instructed his United side to do the same.
Less than ten minutes into the match that much was evident when six United players packed Liverpool into the corner, with Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof left one-on-one with their markers on the halfway line.
The Reds actually played their way out of the situation and they nearly made United pay on a number of occasions in the first half when they played through the press.
But Ten Hag has only been working with the players for two weeks and it will take time for them to exact his methods. This, for now, was a good start for the Manchester United club