Manchester United Thrash Liverpool 4-0… But Don’t Expect An EPL Power Shift
Manchester United got off to a dream start in their first game under new manager Erik ten Hag as they thrashed fierce rivals Liverpool.
After losing 5-0 and 4-0 to Liverpool in the Premier League last season, United began their 2022 preseason with a 4-0 win over Jurgen Klopp’s team.
Jadon Sancho scored the first goal of the Ten Hag era, before Fred chipped Alisson Becker to make it 2-0 and Anthony Martial added a third.
Those three goals all came inside the opening 33 minutes.
Facundo Pellistri then made it four in the second half.
It was just the kind of confidence boost Ten Hag needed, especially as his time at United so far had been blighted by struggles in the transfer market and rumors regarding the future of Cristiano Ronaldo.
But Ten Hag will not get carried away. Although Tuesday’s win in Bangkok represented an excellent night’s work for United, it will be pretty meaningless once the real soccer begins next month.
This was not a Premier League match. It can barely even be considered a regular game of soccer, considering Liverpool manager Klopp effectively changed his entire XI every 30 minutes.
Liverpool started with five teenagers in their XI and did not introduce Mo Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Thiago, Fabinho or Darwin Nunez until the final half-hour.
In truth, Klopp will probably be satisfied with the outcome of Tuesday’s exhibition in Thailand.
While the match represented the start of a new era for United, it was basically just a public training session for Liverpool.
Training is about learning lessons and Liverpool’s youngsters did plenty of that.
Of course, no member of Liverpool’s squad will have enjoyed losing to United. But a result of this nature has the potential to focus the whole team ahead of the real action starting.
Liverpool will meet United again 41 days and 6,000 miles from now.
That game at Old Trafford will look very different and Liverpool will start as clear favorites despite what happened at the Rajamangala Stadium.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.