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Manchester United 4-0 Liverpool: What did we learn from Bangkok friendly?

Facundo Pellistri
Facundo Pellistri scored Manchester United’s fourth goal in their pre-season victory over rivals Liverpool

Erik ten Hag’s reign as Manchester United manager got off to the perfect start with a 4-0 thrashing over Liverpool in Bangkok.

The Dutchman said he was “satisfied” after the friendly win but warned not to “overestimate” the result against their fierce rivals saying Jurgen Klopp played “three teams” during the match.

Klopp, who used more than 30 players in the game, gave debuts to summer signings Fabio Carvalho and Darwin Nunez but said it made “makes no sense” to analyse their performances and the “game came too early” in his pre-season plans.

So what did we learn from Monday’s game?

United’s confidence boost

It has been an awful few months for United and they are not clear of trouble by any means just yet.

However, they need some positives to cling to during Ten Hag’s bedding-in period and this result is priceless in that regard. The former Ajax boss said there were “a lot of mistakes”.

He will also acknowledge Liverpool struck the post on three occasions and goalkeeper David de Gea kept them out at least three more times. But, as Klopp said: “The result is there”.

“I have seen some really good things and I think what you see is we have a lot of creativity and speed up front, so we have potential,” added Ten Hag, who also praised his team’s “spirit”.

It’s a good start for Ten Hag as United now head to Australia for three games.

Fred shows his quality

Fred celebrates after lobbing Alisson for his side’s second goal

The Brazilian polarises opinion among United fans and with Ten Hag making midfield a priority position to strengthen this summer – with the pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong – Fred’s place in the team cannot be taken for granted.

However, former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and interim boss Ralf Rangnick both spoke highly of the midfielder’s contribution and his continued presence in the Brazil squad belies the negativity around him.

His goals output has been poor since joining in 2018 with eight in 156 appearances. On Tuesday night he scored what one fan posted on social media was the club’s “goal of the season”. A bit extreme for the first pre-season game but his 20-yard chip was fabulous.

Is Martial finally going to deliver?

Anthony Martial has been at United for seven years after joining for £36m in 2015. In fleeting glimpses he has shown immense talent but too often, mediocre and lacklustre have been the assessment of the Frenchman.

Against Liverpool he showed Ten Hag what he is capable of with a burst downfield and a delightful chipped finish. After a failed loan to Sevilla last season and uncertainty over Cristiano Ronaldo’s future, it looks like Martial will start the season with United. He is very much in last chance saloon now. Ten Hag’s reputation is not of someone who will put up with the disinterested figure Martial can be.

Darwin Nunez will get fitter – and is earmarked as a number nine

Darwin Nunez
Liverpool’s new signing Darwin Nunez arrived for £64m from Benfica

Klopp confirmed after the game his major summer signing was suffering from blisters on his feet, which handicapped his movement.

The Liverpool boss also added “after his third sprint his lungs were ready to explode”. It was quite amusing and gives you an indication of the work in front of the Uruguayan before he can really be assimilated into Klopp’s all-action team.

He was unequivocal when asked about Nunez’s attributes though. “A number nine with speed and aggression,” said Klopp so Liverpool fans can expect to see the forward playing centrally when the Premier League starts next month.

Fabio Carvalho’s confidence

The teenager, who has joined from Fulham, has a lot of learning to do but he was lively and went close with an excellent shot that struck the inside of a post.

What Carvalho clearly has in abundance is confidence and bravery in possession. He was not scared to take responsibility, even alongside much older team-mates.

He always wanted possession and was prepared to run an opponents from a slightly deeper position just behind Liverpool’s front three. The £5m man has a small fee but a big future.

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