EPL

Ten Hag encouraged by Manchester United despite Aston Villa setback

By Sports Desk July 23, 2022

Erik ten Hag believes Manchester United's 2-2 draw with Aston Villa in Australia will provide important experience for the forthcoming season, following a second-half fightback from Steven Gerrard's side. 

Jadon Sancho scored his third goal in four pre-season games with a first-half volley, which was added to by an own goal, but Leon Bailey pulled one back for Villa in the second half before Calum Chambers' equaliser in the dying moments.

The draw ends United's perfect pre-season run so far, having won each of their three games prior to the clash against their fellow Premier League side, but Ten Hag has seen the positives and believes the setback can provide an education for the upcoming season.

"First half, it was a decent performance, second half, we came back out of the dressing room and we had to control the game but we gave it away. That is no good, so that is a lesson," he told MUTV.

"From the players, the team, I think there has been a lot of progress. There's been some positive aspects. 

"In the end there was a setback but that is also a part of the season because a season is not always getting up, you will also have setbacks that you have to deal with."

United face Atletico Madrid in Oslo later this week in their penultimate pre-season match, before bringing their preparations for 2022-23 to a close against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford next Sunday, and Ten Hag has outlined how he wants his team to continue to play in those games.

"We now play a different type of football against different systems, I think that will also be the case when we play the two Spanish teams," he added.

"What we want is to play proactive football, we want to play with initiative, we want to play attacking football. That is also what we have seen today over a long period but in the end, you have to control the game and that's what we didn't do."

Related items

  • Euro 2024 data dive: England keep it clean, Eriksen creates and Weghorst makes his point Euro 2024 data dive: England keep it clean, Eriksen creates and Weghorst makes his point

    England had to hold out against Serbia, with Jude Bellingham's early goal proving enough for the Three Lions to claim a 1-0 win on Sunday.

    That kick-started their Group C campaign, and a win over Denmark, who drew 1-1 with Slovenia earlier in the day, will see England progress to the last 16.

    Elsewhere, the Netherlands overcame Poland 2-1 thanks to Wout Weghorst's late strike.

    Using Opta data, we provide a run-down of the best statistics from day three of Euro 2024.

    Serbia 0-1 England: Bellingham the main man for clean sheet kings

    England were not exactly free-flowing for much of their clash with Serbia, but Gareth Southgate's team got the job done.

    Bellingham was his hero, as he became just the second player ever to score at both the World Cup and Euros before turning 21, after compatriot Michael Owen.

    Indeed, Bellingham is the first player to score for the Three Lions at both the World Cup and European Championships while playing his club football outside of England.

    Finally, he became the first player to score for England at both the World Cup and Euros while playing his club football outside of England.

    Yet it was at the other end that England had to hold their nerve.

    Their defence has been questioned ahead of Euro 2024, but England have now kept a clean sheet in each of their last five group stage matches at the European Championships, the longest such run in the competition's history.

    Indeed, England have won their opening game in all four of their major tournaments played under Southgate (Euro 2020 and 2024, World Cup 2018 and 2022), just one fewer such victory than across their other 23 major tournament appearances (W5 D11 L7).

    Jordan Pickford pulled off a fine save late on to deny Dusan Vlahovic. The Everton star was making his 20th appearance for his country at a major tournament, a joint record for a Three Lions goalkeeper, matching Peter Shilton.

    England would have been home and hosed if Harry Kane had not seen a header tipped onto the crossbar. The Bayern Munich star was making his 23rd appearance at a major tournament, seeing him become the outright leader in that regard for the Three Lions.

    It was by no mean's a classic. In fact, this game featured just 11 shots, which is the lowest on record in a Euros game.

    Slovenia 1-1 Denmark: Eriksen runs the show but Janza haunts the Danes

    Christian Eriksen put the traumatic events of Euro 2020 firmly behind him as he scored in Denmark's opening match against Slovenia.

    That was the 32-year-old's first goal at the Euros, as he became the oldest Dane to score for the nation at the tournament.

    Eriksen created seven chances from set plays versus Slovenia, the most by a player in a game at the Euros since Scotland's Gary McAllister in 1992 v Germany (eight).#

    Ultimately, though, Denmark could not get over the line, with Erik Janza rifling in a 77th-minute equaliser.

    Janza has now scored three goals for Slovenia (11 appearances) with all three of his goals coming in competitive fixtures and with two of his three goals coming against Denmark.

    Kasper Schmeichel may well have saved Janza's shot if it had not had taken a deflection on its way through.

    Schmeichel, at the age of 37 yers and 224 days, became the second oldest player to play for Denmark at the European Championship finals (behind Morten Olsen - 38y 308d) and the oldest goalkeeper, overtaking his father Peter (36y 216d).

    Slovenia are yet to win a match at the Euros (D3 L1), with their four fixtures the most any nation has played in the competition without recording a single victory, but this result keeps their hopes firmly alive.

    Remarkably, all 10 of Denmark's starting outfielders recorded a shot in this match, only the third time a team has seen each of their outfield starters do so on record at the Euros (since 1980) after England v Spain in 1996 and the Netherlands v Italy in 2000.

    Defender Andreas Christensen completed all of his 89 passes, meanwhile. It is the most passes any player has made while maintaining a 100 per cent accuracy in a match on record at the Euros.

    Poland 1-2 Netherlands: Weghorst makes his point

    Former Manchester United attacker Weghorst was not happy to be left out of Ronald Koeman's line-up, but he made sure to make his mark when he came on against Poland.

    Weghorst scored the fastest goal by a Netherlands substitute at the European Championships, netting the winning goal of the game just two minutes and 18 seconds after coming off the bench.

    His winner came after Cody Gakpo had restored parity in Hamburg. The Liverpool forward has scored in all four of his group stage starts for the Netherlands at major tournaments, and has now found the net in his first start at both the World Cup and European Championships.

    Adam Buska put Poland ahead in the 16th minute, becoming just the fourth player for the country to score on his debut at the European Championships, after Robert Lewandowski (2012), Arkadiusz Milik (2016) and Karol Linetty (2021).

    The Netherlands were ultimately decent value for their win, having had 21 shots – their most in a game at a major tournament (World Cup/EUROs) since 2012 against Denmark (32), although they did only accumulate 1.47 expected goals.

  • Kane hails 'unbelievable' Bellingham as England's golden boy strikes again Kane hails 'unbelievable' Bellingham as England's golden boy strikes again

    Harry Kane lauded Jude Bellingham as "unbelievable" after the Real Madrid superstar's early goal sealed a 1-0 win over Serbia at Euro 2024.

    Bellingham opened the scoring as he headed home Bukayo Saka's cross to become the first player to net for the Three Lions at both the World Cup and Euros while playing his club football outside of England.

    The midfielder also became just the second player ever to score at both the World Cup and Euros before turning 21, after compatriot Michael Owen, who did so at the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

    With plenty of pressure on the youngster's shoulders, Kane – who became England's record appearance maker in major tournaments – had nothing but praise for his team-mate.

    Kane told BBC Sport: "He's an unbelievable player. "He deserves all the praise he is getting at the moment. 

    "Just the way he plays and the confidence he plays with and also the way he affects games. 

    "It's important for people playing in these positions to get goals and assists and that is what he does. It was a great run into the box, and he finished it off nicely."

    Gareth Southgate's side had to withstand a wave of pressure from their opponents in the second half, but continued their run of winning their opening game in all four of their major tournaments played under his management. 

    "We knew it was going to be a tough game," Kane added.

    "Serbia pose some good threats, they were very physical with the long ball. 

    "I thought we dealt overall really well. There was a spell in the first half when we were camped in our half a little bit, but overall I think we deserved the win and in the group, like I touched on before, it is all about getting through so it's an important win tonight."

    England, who have now kept a clean sheet in each of their last five group stage matches at the European Championships, will book their progression from Group C should they defeat Denmark on Thursday.

  • Serbia 0-1 England: Bellingham gives Three Lions winning start at Euro 2024 Serbia 0-1 England: Bellingham gives Three Lions winning start at Euro 2024

    Jude Bellingham was the hero as England launched their Euro 2024 campaign with a narrow 1-0 victory over Serbia in Gelsenkirchen.

    The Real Madrid midfielder's stooping header opened the Three Lions' account in the 13th minute of Sunday's Group C clash.

    England ultimately held on to make it four wins from four opening matches at major tournaments under Gareth Southgate, though Serbia were by far the better side in the second half.

    That being said, Harry Kane almost doubled England's lead, with Predrag Rajkovic tipping brilliantly onto the crossbar from the striker's header, with his opposite number Jordan Pickford making a fine save from Dusan Vlahovic to keep Serbia at bay at the other end.

    Euro 2020 runners-up England quickly settled into their rhythm and their positive start was rewarded when Bukayo Saka's cross deflected up and into the path of Bellingham, who duly powered home.

    The Three Lions survived a scare seven minutes later when Aleksandar Mitrovic fired narrowly wide of Pickford's left post after a mistake from Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield.

    However, they went close to doubling their lead soon after as Kyle Walker raced in behind the Serbia defence on the counter, but he dragged off target. 

    England did not flow as freely after the break, and Serbia swiftly established their dominance, albeit without overly testing Pickford.

    Dusan Tadic's introduction only increased the pressure on England's defence, and fellow Luka Jovic snatched at a good chance, though Southgate's team would have had a second if not for Rajkovic's wonderful reflex stop from Kane in the 77th minute.

    The Three Lions had Pickford to thank for pushing Vlahovic's snapshot over eight minutes from time, before Kane made a vital block, but England got the job done.

    Three points for Three Lions, but too close for comfort

    England's last visit to Gelsenkirchen ended in penalty shootout heartbreak, when Sven-Goran Eriksson's team were knocked out of the 2006 World Cup in the quarter-finals by Portugal.

    Bellingham had only just celebrated his third birthday. Fast forward nearly 18 years, and the Madrid superstar ensured the Three Lions' next visit to Arena AufSchalke provided happier memories with his thumping header eventually proving enough to seal the points.

    England's dominant start faded and they were holding on a little towards the end.

    Nevertheless, they managed to see out a 12th victory at major tournaments since the start of the 2018 World Cup, the joint-most by any nation during that time (level with France).

    Meanwhile, the Three Lions became the first team in European Championship history to keep five consecutive clean sheets in the group stages of the competition.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.