Erik ten Hag took charge of the penultimate friendly match of pre-season against La Liga giants Atletico Madrid in a 1-0 loss at the Ullevaal Stadion in Norway.
With just a week to go until the Red Devils face Brighton in the Premier League, this team is starting to come together and we’re starting to get a feel of how they will line up this season.
Coming into this match unbeaten under Erik Ten Hag, Man United faced tough opposition in Atletico who have ambitions of winning the Spanish league title.
It wasn’t to be today as Joao Felix spoiled the fun towards the latter stages of the game with Fred receiving a second yellow card almost straight after the goal.
Here are three things we learned from the match:
United work hard when pressing
The players had an excellent first half with some impressive pressing when trying to win the ball back from Atletico in their half.
This is something United didn’t do last season and something that Ten Hag will be working on behind the scenes.
It’s clear to see that the current setup is working a treat for these players and fans will be hoping the squad can carry on their form into the Premier League season.
On and off the ball, United were working effectively and it proved to be a challenging time for the Spanish opposition.
Plenty of good partnership options in defence
For the majority of the match, Maguire and Lindelof played at centre-back and didn’t put a step wrong against a Champions League side.
New arrival Lisandro Martinez appeared on the bench and could appear tomorrow vs. Rayo Vallecano.
Rapahel Varane who didn’t travel to Norway for this friendly is another player who can slot into this defence providing he can prove his fitness to the manager.
It wasn’t quite a friendly…
This pre-season match marks the final friendly for a lot of the players and it is clear to see that the fitness levels have improved since the Liverpool fixture at the start of the month.
It was a tough game for Lindelof and Elanga after numerous of lunges into both players throughout the 90 minutes.
Both players will be hoping that they have impressed Ten Hag and they make it into the Brighton matchday squad after today’s performance.
Last season fitness levels slumped around the time of the clubs elimination from the Champions League.
Today it was clear to see that things are changing and players are proving to be fitter after a difficult game against a very physical side.