Erik ten Hag got off to a dream start as Manchester United manager with a 4-0 friendly win over Liverpool in Bangkok.
How much any meeting between United and Liverpool can ever be considered a “friendly” is up for debate and new Old Trafford boss Erik ten Hag will have been pleased with what he saw at the Rajamangala Stadium.
Jurgen Klopp stuck to his pledge of selecting a different outfield 10 for each half-hour of the contest and Fred and Anthony Martial struck either side of the first batch of wholesale changes, with Jadon Sancho having given United a 12th-minute lead.
Facundo Pellistri completed a scoreline that flattered United slightly, as Mohamed Salah hit the post after debutant Fabio Carvalho and Luis Diaz did likewise for the Premier League runners-up.
David De Gea prevented both of last season’s thrashings against Liverpool from being worse than 5-0 and 4-0 and, despite Liverpool naming a more inexperienced starting line-up, he was forced into a trio of early saves before Sancho broke the deadlock.
Carvalho clattered the post in the 18th minute and Diaz should have scored from the rebound. The Colombian winger missed his kick and, a few moments later, whipped a 25-yard effort against the outside of the upright.
South American magic came at the other end, with Fred collecting a loose ball on the edge of the D before dispatching a finish that left Alisson stranded — a goal that is sure to be a topic of conversation on Brazil’s next get-together. Martial then harried defensive replacement Rhys Williams out of possession to finish confidently.
An audacious lob from @Fred08Oficial made it 2-0 in Thailand 🤩🇧🇷#MUFC || #MUTOUR22
Klopp’s third outfield selection boasted most of his first-choice starters and heralded a debut for record signing Darwin Nunez. The record signing brilliantly controlled Andy Robertson’s 70th-minute pass on his chest and Tom Heaton saved well when he fired across goal.
A different Uruguayan completed the scoring as Pellestri streamed away on the break and exchanged passes with Amad to slot home.
Salah went close a couple of times but a combination of the post and some brave last-ditch work from Eric Bailly preserved United’s clean sheet.
A stunning counterattack involving @EricBailly24 and @AmadDiallo_19, finished in style by @FPellistri07 ⏩😍#MUFC || #MUTOUR22
After spending the second half of last season on loan at Sevilla, Anthony Martial has become something of a forgotten man at United.
But a skilful, pacy and versatile forward should theoretically tick a few boxes for Ten Hag. Uncertainty surrounds Cristiano Ronaldo’s future and Edinson Cavani’s departure had already left United light up front.
Martial’s speed posed problems throughout the first half for Liverpool’s high line and his pressing to win the ball back for his goal is sure to have delighted his manager.
Anto is back among the goals! 😍🤙
🇫🇷 @AnthonyMartial #MUFC || #MUTOUR22 pic.twitter.com/MUy4vv0mKA
One half of United’s much-maligned midfield duo stole the attention with his majestic finish but McTominay also made his mark – quite painfully for a couple of Liverpool players. James Milner came on with half an hour played and in an early aerial challenge he was clobbered on the back of the head by McTominay’s elbow.
Curtis Jones was also clattered by the Scotland international, whose limitations are well-documented but whose commitment to the cause cannot be doubted.
Ten Hag will have enjoyed United’s sharp work in transition and clinical attacking play – both qualities that were not readily associated with them towards the end of last season.
However, they kept a clean sheet more by luck than judgement and it was fairly remarkable Liverpool did not find the net. Last-ditch defending is not a long-term plan, but for now, Ten Hag could at least appreciate Bailly at his best.
Always an all-or-nothing type of defender, the centre-back put it all on the line to keep Liverpool at bay and ensured Nunez had a fruitless maiden outing. His storming run to set up Pellestri’s goal was the icing on the cake.
MORE: Cristiano Ronaldo latest transfer news and rumours: Ten Hag insists absent star is not for sale
MUN — JADON SANCHO — 12th min
MUN — FRED — 30th min
MUN — ANTHONY MARTIAL — 33rd min
MUN — FACUNDO PELLISTRI (AMAD) — 76th min
Fulltime: Another chance comes and goes for Salah at the back post and that’s that. United win 4-0, Liverpool hit the post three times and it looks like everyone’s had a broadly nice time. Thanks for being with us this afternoon. We’ll have a full report above this live text very shortly.
90th minute+1: Keita volley’s goalwards and… yep, you guessed it… Bailly gets in the way. He’s certainly made his case to his new boss.
87th minute: Lovely feet from Salah, whose cross towards Nunez is cleared once more. The Egyptian star retrieves the loose ball, curls goalwards and hits the post. Nunez snatches at the rebound and blazes over.
86th minute: More eye-catching work from Tom Hill and Keita can’t quite get over a half chance, firing over.
83rd minute: Alexander-Arnold lumps it into the wall. More accurately, straight into Bailly’s head. He’s down on the turf for a well-deserved rest!
82nd minute: Salah wins a free-kick in a dangerous position. Can he or Alexander-Arnold give the Liverpool contingent something to shout about,
76th minute: GOAL!!! Pellistri!!!
There’s a Uruguayan on the scoresheet, just not the one you expected! Bailly, who has come out on top in his brief battle with Nunez, brings the ball out from the back and finds Pellistri. He finds fellow youngster Amad and slots the return pass beyond Adrian.
70th minute: Robertson wins the ball high up the field and swings the ball towards Nunez. The first touch on his chest is wonderful and he fires across goal for Heaton to make a sharp save.
69th minute: Keita looks for Nunez with a throughball and again Bailly is alert and cuts it out. The centre-back is getting a serious workout.
67th minute: Youngster Tom Hill completes the Liverpool front three alongside Salah and Nunez and he produces a lovely piece of skill to chip a cross towards Thiago. Bailly, who has previous for honking such balls into his own net, clears acrobatically. Tom Heaton comes on for De Gea.
65th minute: A raking pass from Alexander-Arnold almost creates something from nothing. De Gea has to charge out to the right-hand edge of his box to claim ahead of Nunez.
64th minute: Salah wins back possession and Alexander-Arnold looks for Nunez. His radar is slightly off and Bailly intercepts. The United defence might be about to get through a lot of work.
🇺🇾 Darwin Nunez is on and in Liverpool colours for the first time! ⭐️#LFC | #YNWA pic.twitter.com/isuR0Jd7MS
61st minute: Telles’ set-piece comes to nought and Klopp’s third and final outfield line-up of the evening is pretty tasty. Along with the two attacking stars, we’ve got Thiago Alcantara, Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho all involved.
60th minute: Frauendorf scythes into a challenge from behind on Elanga and United have a free-kick in a promising position. Salah and Nunez are ready to come on.
54th minute: Oxlade-Chamberlain picks Malacia’s pocket but the Dutch youngster sticks to his task and manages to extinguish the danger.
53rd minute: United are caught out by a quick free-kick and Clarke flashes across goal but Jones can’t get there.
50th minute: Couple of nice early touches from Malacia. Not a whole lot of anything else going on right now.
Second half: As you’d expect, there’s a load of changes. Most notably, Ten Hag’s first signing Tyrell Malacia is on for his United debut. Anthony Elanga and Charlie Savage also on for United, while Adrian has replaced Alisson between the posts for Liverpool.
46′ – Back underway for the second-half 👊 Our current XI: Adrian, Frauendorf, Williams, Matip, Tsimikas, Bajcetic, Clarkson, Milner, Jones, Clark, Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Halftime: I’m sure Erik ten Hag would have taken that scoreline before kick-off, although if Liverpool had taken their early chances things might be very different. Catch you in 10 minutes or so.
45th minute: Ooh, that’s a brilliant cross from Tsimikas and Lindeloff finds a headed clearance to match.
44th minute: McTominay now flies into Jones. He’s certainly looking to make an impression with Ten Hag, while taking full advantage of lenient pre-season refereeing.
43rd minute: It’s been a more even game than the scoreline suggests. Jones surges forward into the United box but fluffs is left-footed shot. More wasteful finishing from Klopp’s men.
42nd minute: Milner has just left one on McTominay in the centre circle. An elephant never forgets.
37th minute: Not sure the LFC TV commentators imagined they’d be invoking Nigel Clough’s and Neil Ruddock’s goals after being 3-0 down to Manchester United back in the day, but here we are. Talking of veterans, that’s a lovely touch from Milner but his 25-yard effort is easy for De Gea to gather.
35th minute: Klopp’s second XI are really struggling with a United team fully up to the speed of the game. Martial plays in the under-lapping Dalot who thumps against the crossbar from a tight angle.
34th minute: McTominay welcomes Milner to proceedings by piling over the back of him and elbowing him in the back of the head. That was pretty unnecessary.
The press 👊
The finish ⚡️
Love this from you, @AnthonyMartial 😎#MUFC || #MUTOUR22
33rd minute: GOAL!!! Martial!!
United running away with it now. Tsimikas plays fellow replacement Rhys Williams into trouble. He makes an almighty hash of it and Martial charges though to finish coolly.
32nd minute: As planned, Liverpool make a stack of changes. James Milner is now captain, Curtis Jones and Joel Matip are involved, as are Kostas Tsimikas and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
30th minute: GOAL!!!! Fred!!
That’s a sublime finish from Fred, who nonchalantly chips his international teammate from the edge of the D. The play leading up to it, with Liverpool all over the place and various players ending up in heaps on the floor, was less attractive.
An audacious lob from @Fred08Oficial made it 2-0 in Thailand 🤩🇧🇷#MUFC || #MUTOUR22
29th minute: That’s Phillips’ bread and butter, though, making a fine last-ditch block to deny Sancho his second of the game after Alisson could only punch Martial’s cross.
26th minute: Mabaya and Chambers have youthful inexperience on their side, but for Gomez and Phillips it’s just pure July rustiness. More poor play from Liverpool’s centre-backs, who are caught out positionally as Fernandes finds to McTominay to shoot into Alisson’s gloves.
23rd minute: Chambers has been great going forward but he has an absolute nightmare on the touchline, trying to play it back to Alisson when a simple clearance was the way to go. Sancho pounces and drives towards, teeing up Rashford, who has his shot blocked.
22nd minute: Shaw has just blocked a cross to concede a corner and is grimacing, reaching for his thigh. His outing could soon be over.
20th minute: Alisson pings a flat ball over the top of the United defence and Diaz gets there before the onrushing De Gea, but the flag is up for offside,
18th minute: How on earth have Liverpool not scored???? It’s a blistering counter-attack and Chambers again finds himself in the United box, only to have a pair of attempts blocked. Carvalho then fires a shot on the turn against the base of the post. The goal is at Diaz’s mercy on the rebound but he misses his kick. The attack continues and the Colombia winger curls just wide from outside the box.
17th minute: Phillips carelessly gives possession away and Rashford lashes into the side netting. Some of the crowd thought that was in.
16th minute: United are looking to exploit pace in behind the Liverpool central defensive pair. Moments after Phillips saw off some danger with Rashford lurking, Gomez took a tumble under pressure from Martial. He was fortunate to see the assistant referee penalise the Frenchman.
The calmest man in the house.
That’s our @Sanchoooo10! 🥶🤙#MUFC || #MUTOUR22
12th minute: GOAL!!!! Sancho!!
The opener comes against her run of play. Mabaya fails to deal with Fernandes’ chipped ball into the box, leaving it on plate for Sancho to clip into the bottom corner.
10th minute: Liverpool are getting so much joy down the United flanks. Diaz on the rampage, cutting inside Dalot and De Gea is at full stretch to turn behind. From the resulting corner, a speculative strike from Gomez flies wide when United half clear.
7th minute: De Gea down to make another stop. This time it’s Chambers down the left, who arrows one into the box and the Spain international is wise to Carvalho’s attempted flick.
5th minute: Lovely feet from Sancho in the Liverpool box but Morton gets back to break up the attack.
3rd minute: De Gea was the busiest man around during those two shellackings for United last season and the goalkeeper makes a vital intervention — clearing a Mabaya cross with his boot with Carvalho lurking at the back post. A sumptuous touch from Elliott launched that Liverpool attack before Mabaya charged past Shaw.
1st minute: Both sets of players take a knee and are applauded by the Bangkok crowd, and we’re off! Alisson fizzes an early pass to Chambers, which Sancho isn’t too far away from cutting out. An early sign of some more cohesive pressing from the front by United?
5 mins to KO: Here come the players. The Rajamangala Stadium isn’t full but there’s a hefty 40,000+ crowd in.
10 mins to KO: We seem to have entered the age of over-analysis pre-season training sessions, so here’s my take from the warm-up. The new Premier League balls, inspired by the old Mitre design from the mid-90s, look very nice. Here’s Harvey Elliott pinging one into the top corner.
What a strike, Harvey 😮💨💎#LFCPreSeason pic.twitter.com/j5JW5uh7k8
20 mins to KO: There are some less-familiar faces behind him — most notably teenage full-backs Issac Mabaya and Luke Chambers — but the reassuring presence of Jordan Henderson will anchor the Liverpool midfielder. The England international spoke to reporters on the even of the game and said he believes Jurgen Klopp’s side will avoid a “hangover” form the sapping Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid, while he expects Nunez to lend the Reds a “different dimension”.
40 mins to KO: For all the intrigue over a new era at United and a fixation on transfer market comings and goings, it will be interesting to gauge how two men who have become part of the furniture at Old Trafford fare against Liverpool. On their day, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are dangerous, versatile, livewire attackers. The only problem is, it’s getting harder to remember those days. Rashford has endured a prolonged slump not helped by some debilitating fitness issues, while Martial spent the second half of last season on loan at Sevilla to little avail. Under Ten Hag, especially if Ronaldo ends up leaving, they might be able to thrive. In Bangkok, they line up in attack alongside Jadon Sancho — another man with a point to prove.
Getting our game faces on 😤#MUFC || #MUTOUR22 https://t.co/iOEZLBeQst pic.twitter.com/NzkPXHOREZ
1hr to KO: Roberto Firmino starts for Liverpool, with Mohamed Salah on the bench. The other part of that famous front trio, Sadio Mane, is of course now at Bayern Munich. Luis Diaz has the chance to build upon his explosive introduction to the Premier League last season and there will also be opportunities for youngsters such as Harvey Elliott and new signing Fabio Carvalho — both of whom start.
Dressing room settings 👌#LFCPreSeason pic.twitter.com/HXis3QM1QU
1hr 20 mins to KO: We have team news. Liverpool fans will have to wait for their first look at record signing Darwin Nunez, as he’s among a packed substitutes bench. United’s XI certainly looks much closer to what might be considered a first-choice team and it includes the much-discussed “McFred” midfield pairing of Scott McTominay and Fred. They’re big news in Total Football circles, apparently.
📋👇 Just dropped: our first starting XI of #MUTOUR22! 🔴🇹🇭#MUFC
⚪ Here’s how we line-up for our first pre-season outing of 2022 ⚪#LFCPreSeason
1hr 40 mins to KO: English football’s most decorated rivalry plays out its latest chapter in unusual surroundings with the stakes lower than usual. However, Erik ten Hag will struggle to oversee a less competitive performance than United’s two heavy defeats to Liverpool last season. An aggregate scoreline of 9-0 across the two Premier League games highlighted a shocking gulf between the sides. It won’t mean much in the final analysis, but the long, hard task of trying to close that gap starts today.
2 hours to KO: Hello and welcome to The Sporting News’ coverage of the friendly between Manchester United and Liverpool in Bangkok.
🔴 Today’s friendly in 🇹🇭 will see Jurgen Klopp and Erik ten Hag meet for the third time in their careers.
🤝 Klopp’s Liverpool have won both previous meetings with the new United boss, 1-0. #MUNLIV | #LFC pic.twitter.com/wP0MoyPSXD
There will be some big names missing for both teams. Mohamed Salah is among the Liverpool players not yet back in training due to internationals so he is unlikely to feature.
Meanwhile, United will be without Ronaldo as he hasn’t travelled due to a family issue, amid speculation that he wants to leave Old Trafford.
However, there will still be plenty of high-profile names on show, with Luis Diaz, Jordan Henderson and Roberto Firmino potentially involved for Liverpool, while Bruno Fernandes, captain Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane could feature for United.
Goalkeepers: Adrian, Caoimhin Kelleher
Defenders: Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Sepp van den Berg, Isaac Mabaya, Ben Davies, Rhys Williams, Nathaniel Phillips, Owen Beck
Midfielders: Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jake Cain, Tyler Morton, Melkamu Frauendorf, Leighton Clarkson, Tom Hill, Bobby Clark
Wingers/Forwards: Roberto Firmino, Harvey Elliott, Luis Diaz, Fabio Carvalho, Darwin Nunez
Goalkeepers: David de Gea, Tom Heaton
Defenders: Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe, Raphael Varane, Diogo Dalot, Harry Maguire, Alex Telles, Victor Lindelof, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Ethan Laird, Charlie Wellens, Luke Shaw, Bjorn Hardley, Will Fish, Alvaro Fernandez
Midfielders: Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay, Charlie Savage, Bruno Fernandes, Fred, James Garner, Zidane Iqbal, Ethan Galbraith
Wingers/Forwards: Jadon Sancho, Amad Diallo, Noam Emeran, Facundo Pellistri, Anthony Elanga, Alejandro Garnacho, Tahith Chong, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Shola Shoretire
The game will be shown live on MUTV and LFCTV Go. Both channels require a subscription. If you sign up to LFCTV Go before July 12 then you can get two weeks free.