Erik ten Hag 'quite satisfied' after Manchester United's hard-fought Melbourne victory

Manager pleased with the way team rallied at the MCG

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag admitted that he was concerned with his side’s vulnerability after they came from behind to beat Melbourne Victory 4-1 in front of 74,157 at the MCG. Scott McTominay, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and an own goal saw United score four for the second time in three days after Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Liverpool in Bangkok.

United, playing a high defensive line, were hit on the counter attack after four minutes with Ten Hag saying: “I don’t want to talk about the individual because the move was from the start high up the pitch. We made the wrong choices and then it ends up like a pack of cards. It's not one individual, it is more the team who made mistakes.”

The Dutchman was otherwise satisfied, saying: “It was our second game with a totally different approach from the opponent. They stood really back, really compact and we had to create by ourselves and from the left side it was not that easy. From the right side I was quite satisfied and we create a lot off the right side, four or five really good chances. We turned around the game, that was the really good thing. We don't come down, we react and we deal with the setback.”

Ten Hag was also happy with his side’s tactics.

“I'm very happy with that, I'm sure when we come to the season we have even more and have to improve in certain cases,” he said.

Man United ratings v Melbourne

“We have to get a threat on both sides and I said last week our left side was really good and now the right side. Now I want both sides and also the middle because if you want to be creative against low blocks, you need it and the threat has to come from everyone. But especially in the first half we had quite a good formation and the first goal was a setback.”

Asked to comment on anther impressive performance by Jadon Sancho, he said: “Sure but I think the whole right side played really well because there's a good connection between Jadon Sancho and Diogo Dalot and Bruno, Martial and also McTominay.”

On the future of goalscorer Anthony Martial, who had a poor loan spell at Sevilla earlier in the year, Ten Hag said: “I'm sure he can come back even better. I think when he has the right focus and the right motivation and he works hard, he will have production because he is a good player. It's up to him.”

Asked why David de Gea and Raphael Varane didn’t feature, he said: “With David, you saw against Liverpool he fell out [of the game] but he trains already, he is back on the training pitch, no big worry. Raphael Varane also training but something small and I expect him back on the training pitch.”

United will remain in Melbourne, where players launched the latest away kit, ahead of Tuesday’s friendly with Crystal Palace. Shortly after the win against Victory, United confirmed the free transfer signing of Danish international Christian Eriksen.

United are also expected to sign Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez. The Argentinian’s agent posted a picture of him arriving in Manchester with his client and there’s an agreement with the player and Ajax. A United medical, contract and visa process will follow so it maybe a few days before the deal is completed and announced.

Updated: July 16, 2022, 6:04 AM
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