Manchester United impress, beat Liverpool in Bangkok: What we learned, video highlights

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Manchester United beat Liverpool in Bangkok, Thailand as Erik ten Hag’s first game in charge was a commanding friendly win to kick off preseason.

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Jadon Sancho, Fred and Anthony Martial all scored within 21 first half minutes to put United 3-0 up and they looked sharper throughout. Facundo Pellistri added a fourth late on as United were clinical, much to the delight of the fans in Thailand.

Both teams gave plenty of minutes to fringe players and youngsters but this outing showed that Manchester United are further ahead than Liverpool in their preseason preparations, which is to be expected as the Jurgen Klopp’s boys finished their season so late due to the Champions League final.

That said, this game is never a friendly as this win will be a boost for Erik ten Hag and Klopp won’t be delighted with some of the individual displays.

Below is everything you need to know after a win in Bangkok.


What did we learn from Manchester United vs Liverpool?

Erik ten Hag’s ideas have worked their way into United’s play very quickly: From attacking full backs to wide forwards cutting in and controlled and direct possession, this looked like an Erik ten Hag team. Whatever the Dutch coach has been doing in preseason, it’s working. And fast. United’s starting lineup was very strong and yes, this was a friendly, but it was also a clear view of how this United side will play under ETH. As first impressions go, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool are further behind in their preseason, and that’s just fine: As we mentioned earlier, United’s core group of players have been back together longer than Liverpool and that explains some of the rust Klopp’s boys showed. Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk and Darwin Nunez looked sharp for the final 30 minutes when they came on as the ‘A team’ got a run out in the second half. Klopp will have learned a lot about his fringe players and youngsters in that tough first half against a close to full strength United. That is what preseason is all about.

Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial shine as Ronaldo-less United may be the way to go: Fluidity is key for Erik ten Hag’s tactics and we saw that in abundance in the first half. Sancho’s goal sums up exactly what he wants. Luke Shaw and Sancho combined down the left as they pushed on, Sancho then cut inside to cause havoc and the ball was switched quickly to find Bruno Fernandes. Dalot’s overlapping run gave Fernandes space to cross and Sancho swept home at the back post. That is exactly what Erik ten Hag wants and with Cristiano Ronaldo, would United get that kind of fluid movement up top in the final third? Probably not. This was a glimpse into a Ronaldo-less United and it didn’t look too bad.


Recap, video highlights

David de Gea denied Luis Diaz early on with a fine save but then Manchester United took the lead.

A slick attack started on the left through Luke Shaw and Sancho, then the ball was worked all the way to the right to Bruno Fernandes. His cross was only half cleared and Sancho swept home to delight the fans in Bangkok and put United 1-0 up.

Liverpool responded well to going behind as Luke Chambers had two efforts blocked, Fabio Carvalho hit the post with a fine effort, then Diaz curled an effort which clipped the outside of the post.

Marcus Rashford should have made it 2-0 to United as a terrible error from Nat Phillips allowed Sancho to race away and he found Rashford but the latter saw his effort blocked by Mabaya.

Soon it was 2-0 as Fred chipped Alisson magnificently, as the Brazilian midfielder turned on the style.

Then it was 3-0 as Martial also dinked home as he capped an impressive, and mobile, showing up top.

Liverpool then made a host of changes after 30 minutes as Jurgen Klopp looked far from happy on the sidelines, while Erik ten Hag had a big smile on his face. Diogo Dalot then smashed the woodwork after a fine run down the right as United kept surging forward.

In the second half there were a host of changes as Salah, Van Dijk, Nunez, Alexander-Arnold and several of Liverpool’s star men came on and the Reds looked much better for it.

In contrast, United brought on plenty of their youngsters but they held their own and made it 4-0 as Pellistri finished off a fine move after Eric Bailly had surged forward.

This was a big win in Bangkok to get the Erik ten Hag era and United’s preseason tour off to a positive start.