Bangkok, New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag oversaw a 4-0 win over archrival Liverpool on Tuesday in his first game in charge as European pre-season friendlies returned to Asia after a two-year break.
The Dutch coach was quick to downplay the significance of the result, however, against a Liverpool side that made a total of 21 substitutions, reports AP.
“I think our team played brave, played proactive. We have to work really hard to cut out the mistakes but of course we are happy with the first game. I know we have good players,” Ten Hag told the club’s in-house TV channel.
“They were not in their strongest so we have to not overestimate this result. … But, still, 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.”
More than 50,000 fans packed into Bangkok’s iconic Rajamangala Stadium for a first chance to see Premier League stars since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Top European teams have been coming to Asia for preseason tours for decades — this was Liverpool’s seventh visit to Bangkok — but those trips were called off in 2020 and 2021.
Jadon Sancho, Fred and Anthony Martial scored in the first half for United, while Facundo Pellistri added a late fourth in reversal of last season’s results when Liverpool beat its northwest rival 5-0 and 4-0 in the Premier League.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp wasn’t bothered by the result, having left stars such as Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk on the bench at the start of the game.
“The game obviously came a bit too early for us, for a few of our players.,” Klopp said. “You can see that as well. Mistakes happen in football. We could have scored I think three or four in the last five minutes but didn’t and that was our fault.”
Ten Hag made 11 changes during the game as both coaches spread the minutes around.
Source: Bahrain News Agency