Manchester United’s new coach Erik Ten Hag’s first game in charge was a resounding 4-0 win over Liverpool on Tuesday in Bangkok, which made up for the absence of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Dutch coach took seriously the friendly match played in the heat of the Thai capital, lining up at the kick-off his best possible formation, around the Portuguese Bruno Fernandes.
Despite the lack of stakes, “winning must be our standard”, said the former Ajax Amsterdam coach on Monday, who dictated the tempo in the first half by being active in his technical area.
His players were on the same wavelength, starting with striker Anthony Martial, who scored the 3-0 victory (33rd) with a personal feat, after not having scored since February.
Jadon Sancho (12th) and Fred (30th) initiated the festival of the “Red Devils”, which brought back the smile to the Thai fans disappointed by the 6th place of the Premier League, last season.
The young Uruguayan Facundo Pellistri added to the score on a counter-attack led by the Ivorian international Eric Bailly (77th) whose performance alongside Ivorian compatriot was top notch.
For the Reds, coach Jürgen Klopp, cheered by the home crowd, proceeded with the extensive squad review he had announced.
The star recruit Darwin Nunez, bought this summer for almost 100 million euros including bonuses from Benfica Lisbon, played the last half-hour like most of the Liverpool managers.
The Uruguayan tried his luck (69th, 87th), in vain. Luis Diaz hit the post (18th, 19th), Mohamed Salah also (87th).