Melbourne Victory vs Manchester United. Friendly Match.
Melbourne Cricket GroundAttendance74,157.
Free highlights and report as Man Utd make it two wins from two under Erik ten Hag; Scott McTominay, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford on target at MCG as United come back from early Chris Ikonomidis strike
Friday 15 July 2022 16:49, UK
Erik ten Hag maintained his winning start to pre-season as Manchester United came from behind to beat Melbourne Victory 4-1 at the MCG.
United were made to work for victory in the first leg of their tour of Australia, with Chris Ikonomidis rounding off a clinical counter to hand Melbourne a shock fifth-minute lead.
But Scott McTominay's deflected equaliser and Anthony Martial's second pre-season goal in the space of three minutes at the end of the first half saw United turn the game around in an instant.
Ten Hag made 10 half-time changes but United retained control against a tiring Melbourne and, after Tuesday's 4-0 thrashing of Liverpool in Thailand, hit four goals in successive pre-season games thanks to Marcus Rashford's third and a late own goal from Edmond Lupancu.
United dominated the opening exchanges but were stunned by Melbourne's very first attack. Victor Lindelof failed to intercept a pass which released Ben Folami down the right flank, and his perfectly-weighted square pass was dispatched first time past Tom Heaton by Australia international Ikonomidis.
United's attempts to draw level were consistently repelled by a spirited defensive stand from Melbourne. McTominay saw two efforts from cutbacks on the right blocked, before Bruno Fernandes drew a fine first save from goalkeeper Paul Izzo after being played through on goal by Jadon Sancho's threaded pass.
George Timotheou's stunning headed clearance prevented Sancho from hauling United level and it required a strike of luck for Ten Hag's side to restore parity on 43 minutes, with McTominay intercepting the ball and then unleashing a shot which looped into the Melbourne net courtesy of a heavy deflection.
United ensured a frustrating first period ended on a high as they took the lead for the first time. Anthony Elanga cushioned Diogo Dalot's cross into the feet of Martial six yards from goal, and he showed great composure to control and then dispatch his second goal of pre-season.
Ten Hag changed his entire outfield during the interval but, thanks to the flare and maturity of youngsters Zidane Iqbal and Charlie Savage, United retained control of the contest and victory was secured 12 minutes from time when Eric Bailly threaded Rashford through on goal, and the England international prodded United's third past the on-rushing Izzo.
After a brief, late cameo from the Melbourne substitutes' bench from former United winger Nani, Tahith Chong ensured further gloss was added to the scoreline when his driving run and cross forced Melbourne defender Lupancu to turn the ball into his own net.
Sky Sports' Jack Wilkinson:
In the end, it proved to be another decent outing for Erik ten Hag's Manchester United.
Shell-shocked by Melbourne's early opener, United took their time to regain rhythm and momentum but when they did, they were able to apply concerted pressure on their hosts, who were unable to cope as fatigue set in.
Key to United's first-half comeback was their faith in Ten Hag's principles, with this latest incarnation dominant on the ball and quick to stifle the threat of the opposition on the counter.
Brilliantly executed, the tactical approach suffocated Melbourne and gave United's attacking flair players time on the ball to inflict the damage they did.
Sterner tests await Ten Hag's United on this tour of Australia, and in the Premier League season to come, but with two victories from two pre-season fixtures, momentum is building.
Sky Sports' Papa Kuranchie:
Leading 2-1 at the break at the MCG, Erik ten Hag's 10 half-time changes offered supporters a more prolonged look at the talented crop of players breaking out of the Manchester United youth set-up.
A more inexperienced XI it may have been, but Zidane Iqbal, Charlie Savage, Tahith Chong and Amad Diallo ensured we saw a more controlled United, with elegant passing and movement in contrast to the first half, where there was an element of desperation while hunting the equaliser.
After Marcus Rashford sealed the victory with United's third, the Old Trafford youngsters ensured they had the final say, with Chong's brilliant driving run rewarded by Lupancu turning a cross into his own net.
This is a Man Utd squad where all players fight for each other, hold each other to account and push as a team to get goals. It a relentless recipe for success, and one which is epitomised by the youth at the club.
United remain in Melbourne for Tuesday's pre-season friendly against Crystal Palace (11.10am), before travelling to Perth to face Aston Villa on July 23 (10.45am).