MANCHESTER, England — Goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford helped Man United shrug off a tumultuous start to the season and beat Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford to re-ignite their campaign. Mohamed Salah scored a consolation inside the final 10 minutes to give the hosts some nervous moments, but the victory is vindication for United boss Erik ten Hag as he tries to turn around a club in disarray.
Around 10,000 supporters gathered outside Old Trafford before kick-off, attempting to force lasting change at Manchester United by protesting against the Glazer family’s ownership, yet Erik ten Hag showed he could shake things up much sooner once the teams were announced.
Dropping both your club captain and your iconic centre-forward for a game of this magnitude takes some self-belief, but United lined up without Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time since Jan. 15. In fact, it was only the fourth Premier League game since Ronaldo rejoined United from Juventus last summer, and the difference in performance from their insipid defeat at Brentford could hardly have been starker as Ten Hag secured his first career Premier League win.
Perhaps it was the protests stirring the soul. Perhaps it was the identity of the opposition, whose supporters arrived with Avram Glazer pictures chanting “Up the Glazers” as Liverpool sought to extend their recent dominance over United. But either way, United kick-started the Ten Hag reign with a performance full of hunger, discipline and counter-attacking quality that had been almost entirely absent in their opening two games.