Man Utd rout Liverpool with Ten Hag plans working wonders, as Darwin Nunez falters

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New Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag Credit: PA Images
New Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag Credit: PA Images

Man Utd kicked the Erik ten Hag era off in style with a thumping 4-0 pre-season win over Liverpool in Thailand.

Erik ten Hag named arguably his strongest available side for the friendly clash in Bangkok with the likes of David de Gea, Raphael Varane, Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho all starting.

A handful of superstar names littered Liverpool’s eleven, though Jurgen Klopp mixed and matched including selecting 17-year-old full-backs Isaac Mabaya and Luke Chambers. Darwin Nunez was named on the substitutes bench.

Ten Hag’s insistence on implementing a pressing style was evident from minute one. United engaged their Liverpool counterparts deep inside their own half and forced the Reds into dangerous passes out from the back.

Luis Diaz forced the first major stop of the match when proving too hot to handle for Diogo Dalot. The Colombian weaved in and out before curling an effort towards the far post David de Gea was equal to.

But it was Man Utd who landed the first blow when Sancho punished a sloppy clearance from Mabaya.

The youngster failed to deal with a simple cross with his tame clearance dropping into Sancho’s path. The winger reacted quickly and showed great composure to fire beyond Alisson Becker.

Marcus Rashford looked lively down the left, but it was Liverpool who came close to levelling the scores in a chaotic passage of play.

In the space of 10 seconds, Chambers had two attempts blocked before Fabio Carvalho and Diaz both hit the post. United were beaten to every second ball, though Liverpool’s errant finishing spared their blushes.

Sancho and Rashford then failed to punish a dismal error from Nat Phillips. The centre-half missed his kick completely allowing Sancho to scamper away down the right, though Rashford could only fire the pull-back straight at Mabaya.

United were assuming control of the contest and soon doubled their advantage through a moment of brilliance.

Man Utd put Liverpool to the sword

Liverpool were unable to clear their lines with the ball eventually breaking to Fred on the edge of the area. With his weaker right foot, the Brazilian delightfully chipped Alisson, but the United heroics didn’t end there.

Liverpool made 10 changes on the half hour mark with a mix of experience and youth replacing every outfield player. Rhys Williams entered the frame at centre-half and within moments, had helped put his side three nil down.

His errant touch gifted possession to Martial near the halfway line who raced towards goal. The Frenchman sat Alisson down before scooping another superb finish beyond the stricken keeper.

Ten Hag made 10 changes of his own at the break including a first sighting of new boy Tyrell Malacia.

Liverpool upped the tempo and began to ask questions of United’s second string, though their deficit remained three goals by the time their regular starters arrived on the hour mark.

Liverpool big guns can’t turn the tide

Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Fabinho and Mohamed Salah were among the changes. So too was record signing Darwin Nunez.

The Uruguayan latched on to a through ball after United struggled to clear. His first touch took him a little wide, though his powerful strike did force a smart stop from Tom Heaton.

Yet it was United who troubled the scorers next with Ten Hag’s insistence the ball be moved forward quickly and with purpose working wonders.

Eric Bailly intercepted a Liverpool pass before showing bravery to drive forward through midfield. He found Facundo Pellistri who worked a wonderful one-two with Amad Diallo before slotting home from close range.

Salah almost produced a moment of magic when striking the post late on. The rebound fell to Nunez who blazed over in a chance he won’t wish to see again.

The detractors will claim it’s only pre-season, but as far as pre-season victories go, a 4-0 win over Liverpool is as good as it gets for Man Utd and Ten Hag.

The article Man Utd rout Liverpool with Ten Hag plans working wonders, as Darwin Nunez falters appeared first on Teamtalk.com.

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