Erik ten Hag has given his Manchester United players the chance to make amends for Sunday’s annihilation at Liverpool by naming an unchanged XI for the visit of Real Betis.
United suffered the joint-worst competitive defeat in their history at Anfield, losing 7-0 as they found themselves on the end of a second-half blitz.
Ten Hag’s men had arguably been the more threatening side in the first half, but after going into the interval a goal down, they capitulated in spectacular fashion and Liverpool ran riot.
Thursday’s Europa League last-16 first leg provides United with the opportunity respond to that embarrassment, and Ten Hag surprisingly resisted the urge the drop any of those involved in Sunday’s debacle.
David de Gea, Bruno Fernandes, Casemiro and Luke Shaw were the targets of particularly stinging criticism for their performances against the Reds, though they all kept their places.
Our starting XI this evening…
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 9, 2023
Wout Weghorst also attracted the wrath of supporters after it emerged he touched the ‘This Is Anfield’ sign in the tunnel before kick-off, a gesture generally associated with Liverpool players rather than their opponents.
The Dutchman claimed he was trying to wind up international colleague Virgil van Dijk by preventing him from touching the sign. Weghorst also retained his place.
Betis – coached by former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini – will be hoping to pile the misery on for United.
The Andalusians have had injury problems of late, however, with the talismanic figures of Nabil Fekir and Sergio Canales both absent.
Ex-City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was named between the posts, while Ayoze Perez – on loan from Leicester City – was selected in attack alongside Betis’ 41-year-old captain Joaquin.