Home » Three things we learnt from Manchester United’s 4-1 friendly win over Melbourne Victory

Three things we learnt from Manchester United’s 4-1 friendly win over Melbourne Victory

by Joe Taylor


Erik ten Hag took charge of his second match of pre-season as Manchester United beat Australian A-league team Melbourne Victory 4-1 in a friendly at the Melbourne Cricket ground.

United are on the second part of their summer tour as they settle down in their current stadium for a couple of weeks to face three different teams.

Melbourne Victory had the luxury of playing the Red Devils but unfortunately for the Australian side, they lost thanks to goals from Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay, Marcus Rashford and an own goal from a Chong cross.

Here are three things we learned from today’s game:

Defence is still an issue

Last time out vs. Liverpool was a completely different story when it came to the defence. In particular, the centre backs had a great game with their defensive awareness and David de Gea saved a couple of shots in the first half.

However, today was a complete contrast when it came to the Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire partnership in the first half.

Ignoring the goal conceded during the opening minutes of the game, the centre backs allowed Melbourne’s attack to get in behind them a couple of times.

This was a huge issue last season resulting in conceding 57 Premier League goals.

Erik ten Hag will have to work on the defence with Lisandro Martinez expected to sign in the upcoming days.

The second half saw Eric Bailly contribute a couple of mistakes with Tom Heaton reading the error perfectly, protecting United’s lead.

It’s clear that tactics are changing

The first half proved the tactics are slightly changing under the new manager.

McTominay enjoyed the first half, regularly making saves out of the keeper before chipping the ball over him via a deflection.

Despite turning the one-goal deficit around just before the first half ended, it was largely positive with brilliant link-up play across the box between Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes.

United’s effort to retain possession in the first half was also excellent and provided a huge positive which Erik ten Hag will love to see.

Before his goal, McTominay had a couple of shots saved by the keeper and seems to be going forward a lot more than he did last season.

The second half saw the team win possession higher up the field which is something fans demanded last season and will be a tactic Ten Hag will be working hard on during training sessions this month.

Youngsters will get their chance

Last time out vs. Liverpool we saw a small selection of the current academy stars play in the second half of the match.

This time was very similar with Tahith Chong and Ethan Laird appearing for the first time during the pre-season campaign.

Zidane Iqbal and Charlie Savage both had a very impressive performance vs. Liverpool with a similar outstanding performance in Australia.

It was Tahith Chong who was involved in the final goal of the game after impressive crossing throughout the second half.

Manchester United face Premier League club Crystal Palace in a friendly on Tuesday at the same stadium.

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