Manchester United have defeated Crystal Palace in their third pre-season friendly.
Going into the fixture, the club defeated Liverpool 4-0 and Melbourne Victory 4-1 in the opening two friendlies, with both fixtures drawing heaps of praise from fans and pundits alike.
This performance was no different. The fluid movement from Manchester United’s front three of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial concluded with all three of them getting on the scoresheet.
It was a match of yet more evidence that the work Erik ten Hag is putting in with the players during training is paying off, with a specific style becoming ever more obvious as time goes on.
Speaking to MUTV after the fixture, Ten Hag was quick to point out that although there has been improvement, work is far from complete.
“It’s pre-season,” explained the Dutchman. “We are happy with the improvement we see, but there’s also a lot of work to do.
“But, we scored some wonderful goals, that’s also true.
“The timing, when you start the press for instance, I still see switches that we can avoid and can prepare a better press.”
The distance Manchester United players seem to be covering while out of possession looks much greater than in previous seasons, as a more coherent style is being enforced.
“They do a lot of work and running, you see often with offensive players that they think they miss energy in the offence.
“But you see, they put a lot of energy in defence and get rewarded by scoring goals, because we’re winning balls high up the pitch.”
Ten Hag is very aware of the advantages of a high-pressing system.
“No opponent likes to be against the press in the defensive line, I think it’s a big advantage when you can do that, but you need the whole team.”
One sad piece of news that was revealed on Monday evening was that current Borussia Dortmund striker and ex-Ajax player under Erik ten Hag Sebastian Haller has been diagnosed with a testicular tumour.
“It's horrible,” noted Ten Hag on the news. “I have a fantastic relationship with him. To hear such news is devastating. My thoughts are with him and with his family and I hope he will recover quickly.”
With Manchester United now wrapping up in Melbourne, their next conquest lies in wait in the form of Aston Villa, with the fixture set to be played in Peth.
After this, the club will travel back to Manchester on 24 July where Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen should join the tour, before the side head to Oslo to face Atletico Madrid on 30 July.
One final fixture will take place the following day at Old Trafford, with Rayo Vallecano visiting Manchester before the Premier League season kicks off the following weekend.
Featured Image Credit: Manchester United
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