Man United v Liverpool was a tasty fixture to get both sides' pre-season underway on Tuesday, but the result will have come as a surprise to fans of both teams.
In the first game of Erik Ten Hag's rule as manager of United, his team took a comprehensive 4-0 win over their most bitter rivals, with Jadon Sancho, Fred, Anthony Martial, and youngster Facundo Pellistri getting on the scoresheet.
With tumultuous transfer rumours surrounding star man Cristiano Ronaldo, and the club coming off the back of their worst ever Premier League season, Man United's big win v Liverpool was a welcome beginning to pre-season for the club's fans.
Some fans appeared to completely swept away by the excitement of the occasion.
Man United v Liverpool: 4-0 win has United fans giddy
It's fair to say Manchester United fans have not been treated to the best of times recently. Ever since the 2021 Europa League final loss to Villarreal, things have gone downhill, and the arrival of Erik Ten Hag in charge signals a new era for the club.
The first game of the Ten Hag era saw them take on old rivals Liverpool in the 'Bangkok Century Cup'. A 4-0 win gave them the trophy, with many United fans posting somewhat tongue-in-cheek adulations of the team in the aftermath.
BrUno fErnANDes iS NoT a bIg gAmE plAyEr pic.twitter.com/SOJsDGhfzS
— Pheelzey (@passingdemtears) July 12, 2022
THE BANGKOK CENTURY CUP CHAMPIONS, YOU'LL NEVER SING THAT pic.twitter.com/sFfqq3S2KT
— Trey (@UTDTrey) July 12, 2022
It's been slim pickings for Manchester United fans in terms of contending for trophies recently, and the 4-0 win v Liverpool had fans trying (and failing) to stop themselves from getting carried away.
Even United journalists Scott Patterson and Andy Mitten couldn't resist a few optimistic jokes after the game.
Is “I’m not going to get carried away, but…” trending yet? 😂
— Scott Patterson (@R_o_M) July 12, 2022
Just found this man singing “we’re gonna win the league” and “20 times” despite being surrounded by Liverpool fans. pic.twitter.com/80eqpE2cPb
— Andy Mitten (@AndyMitten) July 12, 2022
Much of the fan reaction focused in on the opposition. Man United v Liverpool always brings an edge, and many of the club's fans found the 4-0 scoreline humorous after the past few years of pain at Liverpool's hands.
Another Cup final that Liverpool “greatest team of all time” FC haven’t scored in.
— Ronaldo Brown (@ronaldobrown_98) July 12, 2022
Liverpool start this season how they ended the last one. Watching someone else lift a trophy…
— Jay Motty (@JayMotty) July 12, 2022
Though most fans tried to refrain from getting carried away with a pre-season friendly, some merely wore the brand on their sleeves.
One of the biggest storylines for Manchester United fans was the return of Anthony Martial, who has spent the last two seasons out of form and recently returned from a loan spell at Sevilla. The Frenchman scored United's third goal in the win against Liverpool.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 12, 2022
Some United fans could not contain their happiness with Martial's return - and some tongue-in-cheek tweets summed up the mood towards the man-of-the-match winner.
Ballon D'or ✅️
Prem golden boot ✅️
One of the world's greatest 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/7kpX3oSbD8
— Dylan (@Dylyano) July 12, 2022
— ً (@TheFergusonWay) July 12, 2022
Naturally, some fans sought to throw a few digs at Liverpool and their manager Jurgen Klopp, while some were buzzing with anticipation of the Erik Ten Hag era.
Erik ten Hag v Jurgen Klopp
Manchester United First Team 3-0 Liverpool Reserve.
Manchester United Reserve 1-0 Liverpool First Team.
— Suhail (@SuhailChowdhary) July 12, 2022
— Light Yagami (@AirCoker) July 12, 2022
Ten Hag himself, however, was fully aware that the game marked nothing more than a learning opportunity for Manchester United, and that they will have to work on their mistakes ahead of the start of the Premier League season.
Erik Ten Hag: “Believe me I have seen a lot of mistakes, it will take a lot of time. We have not overestimated this result.” #MUFC
— United Zone (@ManUnitedZone_) July 12, 2022
Of course, much of the Manchester United fan reaction has been strongly tongue-in-cheek. Despite an impressive result, the club face a big climb to return to the lofty heights of the Alex Ferguson era.
We will learn a lot about the two clubs during the first Man United v Liverpool game of the Premier League season - which we only have to wait just over a month for, on 22 August at Old Trafford.
Manchester United get their Premier League campaign underway at home to Brighton on August 7 at 2:00pm. Liverpool begin their season away to newly-promoted Fulham on August 6 at 12:30pm.