Danny van de Beek defended Manchester United captain Harry Maguire after he was booed during a friendly against Crystal Palace, praising the England defender’s “aggressive” display.
Maguire was loudly jeered before kick-off and each time he touched the ball throughout the first half at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where a crowd of 76,499 otherwise raucously backed the Red Devils.
The club skipper came in for strong criticism as United limped to sixth in the Premier League last term, conceding more league goals (57) than they had done in a single season since 1978-79 (63).
Maguire was left out of the United side after receiving a bomb threat in April, and was booed by England fans prior to a friendly against Ivory Coast in March.
The defender reacted well to the jeers in Australia, producing a strong defensive display and going close to scoring with a powerful 20-yard drive in the first half, leaving team-mate Van de Beek keen to highlight his impressive performance.
Our Reds loved that @Donny_Beek6 assist #MUFC || #MUTOUR22 pic.twitter.com/cT0MXXvdiN
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 19, 2022
“I heard [the boos] as well,” the midfielder told Sky Sports after the win.
“I didn’t know really what happened. But I think if I saw the game today, Harry was playing really well.
“He was aggressive, he got so many balls, so that means he has a big personality.
“He has a lot of experience, so I think that’s positive what he [showed], his performance today.”
Goals from Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho ensured United maintained their 100 per cent winning record in their first pre-season under Erik ten Hag despite youngster Will Fish’s late red card, with Van de Beek providing a sumptuous assist for Rashford’s strike.
United’s next pre-season outing sees them face Aston Villa in Perth on Saturday.