Erik ten hag was happy to see Manchester United win back-to-back games on tour, but accused his players of folding ‘like a pack of cards’ when they went behind to Melbourne Victory at the MCG.

United conceded inside five minutes when they were opened up down their left-hand side. Melbourne bypassed Luke Shaw and Anthony Elanga before Ben Folami raced away from Victor Lindelof and crossed for Chris Ikonomidis to score with Harry Maguire nowhere to be seen.

Ten Hag said: ‘I don’t want to talk about the individual because I think it was from the start high up the pitch: the wrong choices and then it ends up like a pack of cards. It’s not one individual, it is more the team who made mistakes.

Erik ten Hag was honest when speaking about his defence after his side’s latest friendly

‘But we turned the game around, that was the really good thing. We don’t come down, we react and we deal with the setback.’


United hit back to win 4-1 with goals from Scott McTominay, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and an own-goal by Edmond Lupancu, following on from their 4-0 win over Liverpool in Bangkok.

Ten Hag added: ‘It was a totally different approach from the opponent. They stand really back, really compact, and we had to create by ourselves.

‘From the left side, it was not that easy. From the right side, I was quite satisfied and we created a lot off the right side, four or five really good chances.

Harry Maguire (L) and Victor Lindelof (R) both made errors in the build-up to Melbourne Victory’s goal

‘I think the whole right side played really well because there’s a good connection between Jadon Sancho and Diogo Dalot and Bruno (Fernandes), Martial and also McTominay.’

It was Martial’s second goal is as many games on tour after going out on loan to Sevilla in the second half of last season. The Frenchman appeared to have a bleak future at United, but Ten Hag hinted that he could stay at the club if he has the right motivation.


‘I’m sure he can come back even better,’ said Ten Hag. ‘I think when he has the right focus and the right motivation and he works hard, he will have production because he is a good player.

‘I say when he has the right focus and every day delivers much, then he will have production and it’s up to him.’

United will play their third game of their pre-season tour on Tuesday when they face Crystal Palace in Melbourne.

United went on to win the match 4-1 in what was in the end a comfortable victory in Melbourne

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