Manchester United won its first match played under new manager Erik ten Hag. United put four goals past Premier League rivals, Liverpool, in a friendly match played in Thailand.
Jadon Sancho, Fred and Anthony Martial put Man. Utd. 3-0 up before halftime, with Facundo Pellistri setting the final score at 4-0 in the 78th minute. Ten Hag started his best available 11, while Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp chose to mix youngsters with senior players in the starting lineup.
Newcomer Tyrell Malacia made his United debut in the second half, coming on for Luke Shaw after the break. Darwin Nunez and Fabio Carvalho also played their first minutes in the Liverpool shirt following summer moves from Benfica and Fulham, respectively.
One game, one trophy 😉
The Erik ten Hag era begins. pic.twitter.com/wIqR6WftwG
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 12, 2022
“Our team played brave, we played proactively, but we have to work really hard,” ten Hag said after the match. “We know we just started. We made mistakes in pressing, we conceded some chances, but we also created a lot. I am satisfied today, the team had a great spirit.”
🗯 "Our team played brave, we played proactive but we have to work really hard."
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 12, 2022
The match in Bangkok was the last one for United in Thailand. The team will now travel to Australia to play Melbourne Victory, Crystal Palace, and Aston Villa before returning to Europe to play Atletico Madrid in Oslo. Liverpool will also leave Thailand on their way to Singapore, where they’ll meet Crystal Palace. Then, the Champions League finalists will play RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg at their grounds before contesting the Community Shield clash against Manchester City on July 30.
Can Liverpool and United challenge City for the Premier League title?
Both Liverpool and Man. United hope to trouble Manchester City in their bid for a third consecutive Premier League crown. The bookies have City at -160 to retain the trophy, with Liverpool second in the odds race at +240. United isn’t regarded as a potential title contender, with the Red Devils sitting fifth on the favorites list at +2500 behind Tottenham at +1400, and Chelsea at +1600.
United isn’t expected to have an easy time in its attempt to reach the top four next season. Ten Hag’s men are at +120 to enter the Champions League zone behind City at -10000, Liverpool at -1430, and Chelsea and Tottenham at -150.
United missed out on Champions League qualification this season and will only play in the Europa League, the continent’s second-best club competition. The club also faces losing Cristiano Ronaldo, who’s asked for permission to leave one year short of his contract expiration. Chelsea is weighing up a bit, with Barcelona also considering a transfer. Ronaldo isn’t part of United’s squad that traveled to Thailand and Australia.