By Michelle Liew
Erik ten Hag picked up his first win in the Premier League as Manchester United manager, after goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford shrugged off a tumultuous start of the season to defeat Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford. Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah scored a consolation during the final 10 minutes, but it was not enough to send the Red Devils home on their toes. The home victory reignited the spark and passion of United’s campaign and the gaffer is eager to turn the club around, to climb up the ladders of the league.
With around 10,000 supporters heading into Old Trafford, many have attempted to force a change to the club by protesting the Glazer family’s ownership. The movement took over social media as well for the past two weeks after a staggering 4-0 defeat in Brentford. The steady play against Jürgen Klopp’s men did not quell the anger of fans who were still chanting “We want the Glazers out” throughout the game.
Dropping both club captain Harry Maguire and iconic forward Cristiano Ronaldo for the starting squad in this fierce match raised eyebrows but showed the self-belief and boldness of ten Hag. This was United’s first line-up without the two since January 15.
The journey for United was anything but glorious for the past decade and attempts in reviving its good old days were far from easy. Ten Hag’s appointment was something highly anticipated by loyal supporters, but his first impression was hampered by losing his first two games. Nonetheless, the former Ajax manager finally got the style of play he wanted.
“I wanted a different approach, a different attitude and that is what they brought on the pitch. That’s what satisfied me. It’s only the start and we have to remain humble. We can play much better if we have a bit more composure – give an extra pass, and we can perform better. But first, we have to become a team,” the Dutchman emphasised on the new-found style.
“It’s not always about what is said. I said we have to act, not talk a lot. Make sure you are a team, and battle and be brave. Give people options when they have the ball. When out of position, we want to press. Sometimes strikers can’t do it because they have to save their energy, now it’s a demand.”
The club’s first win in Old Trafford caused the decibels in the stadium to go up a few notches and it was at that very moment the stadium saw itself as “The Theatre of Dreams” as Sir Bobby Charlton would say. It is only the start but nonetheless a great improvement.
Fans were elated with the victory and took to social media to celebrate with the tagline “Glory Glory Man United” by posting tributes and personal reviews, and Malaysian fans were no exception in painting Twitter red by causing the news to stay on top of the trend in less than 24 hours since the victory.
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