Erik ten Hag’s first pre-season at Manchester United is off to the perfect start after his side comfortably swept aside Liverpool in Bangkok.
The Dutchman named a strong side to face United’s bitter rivals and a three-goal cushion at half-time ensured that the second half was sombre, with plenty of youngsters offered the chance to impress as Jurgen Klopp introduced his heavy hitters.
It may have only been a pre-season friendly but the result will already have excited United supporters as they look ahead to one of their biggest seasons in modern history.
Goals from Jadon Sancho, Fred, Anthony Martial and Facundo Pellistri ensured the win for United and Ten Hag has now delivered his verdict on the 90-minute affair.
“Of course we are satisfied today because I think it was a team with a great spirit, and we know we have just started,” Ten Hag told MUTV after the game, according to the Manchester Evening News.
“We did the press, a few mistakes in pressing, conceded some chances, but we also created a lot. I think our team played brave, played proactive. We have to work really hard to get out of the mistakes, but of course we are happy with the first game.
“(It will take) a lot of time. Believe me. I have seen a lot of mistakes. Liverpool played three teams, and they were not at their strongest. We have not overestimated this result.
“We have to be careful, but still, I have seen some really good things, and I think what we see, we have a lot of creativity and speed in front. We have potential.”
There were a lot of things to like about United’s performance against Liverpool but fans must not be carried away. After all, it was the first pre-season game of the summer for both sides and Liverpool used 32 players.
United played the first half with their first-string side and that was always going to give them an advantage. It is, however, encouraging to see that Ten Hag is somewhat impressed with what he saw. The first goal in particular was a near carbon copy of the goal Rashford scored in training earlier this week.
Ten Hag also mentioned that he spotted several mistakes and he’ll be hoping to eradicate those by the time United kick off their Premier League campaign against Brighton next month.