After a shaky start to his tenure as Manchester United boss, Erik ten Hag’s side are now almost unrecognisable to the players that opened the campaign.

With that in mind, here are three key matches that show the effect Ten Hag has had on his United squad.

Man Utd 2-1 Man City (14 Jan 2023)

Given that Ten Hag’s side lost just twice in 20 matches after the World Cup, it only makes sense to start in this triumphant period. It doesn’t get much better than beating your Manchester rivals, especially those chasing a rampant Arsenal side at the Premier League summit. But goals from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford did exactly that, cancelling out Jack Grealish’s 60th-minute effort.

The 2-1 victory was a statement of intent from United, who solidified their standing in the league’s top four. Despite Ten Hag being backed in both windows, participation in next season’s Champions League will bring significant financial reinforcements. Europe’s elite football competition is world-famous and features on various platforms, including video games and online slots, where sites such as MrQ provide super free bingo offers to new users. For United, Champions League qualification should mean better funding for the squad next term.

Man Utd 2-1 Barcelona (3-2 Agg) (23 Feb 2023)

While the Champions League is the aim for 2023-24, United have had to settle for Europa League participation this campaign. Finishing second in Group E meant a round-of-32 matchup against giants Barcelona, who themselves had been eliminated from the group stages of Europe’s premier competition. The tie did not disappoint, with both sides playing out a thrilling 2-2 draw at Camp Nou in the first leg.

But it is the return fixture at Old Trafford which showed more grit and determination from Ten Hag’s players. A disappointing first 45 saw United deservedly go a goal down thanks to Robert Lewandowski’s early penalty. But the Dutchman’s half-time team-talk evidently worked, as Fred scored within two minutes of the restart and Antony capped the comeback 13 minutes from time, as United marched on to the last-16.

Man Utd 2-0 Newcastle (26 Feb 2023)

A derby win against a high-flying City side and a comeback against one of Europe’s most storied teams is undeniably a sign of progress. But ending the club’s six-year wait for a trophy against Eddie Howe’s determined Newcastle with a 2-0 victory in the Carabao Cup final is unrivalled, as the Dutchman’s players were shown to rise to the occasion.

Critics will point towards United’s ‘fortunate’ run which saw us drawn against Aston Villa, Burnley, Charlton and Nottingham Forest before the final at Wembley. But you can only beat what is put in front of you, and Ten Hag’s side showed they are capable of exactly that. In the final, big-game player Casemiro popped up with a crucial header while Rashford again inevitably found himself on the scoresheet, as the Dutchman won his first trophy in Manchester after just half a season.

In his opening two Premier League matches, a 2-1 home loss to Brighton followed by a 4-0 drubbing away at Brentford will have raised a few eyebrows in the United camp.

But entering the business end of the season, Ten Hag has successfully implemented a specific, adaptable brand of football, meaning there are no bounds to the successes this team can reach.