Man Utd 2022/23 season review: Erik ten Hag era begins with immense promise

Man Utd have made big strides under Erik ten Hag
Man Utd have made big strides under Erik ten Hag / Gareth Copley/GettyImages

Manchester United enjoyed a strong season in 2022/23 that, while far from perfect, suggested the club is finally on its way back to seriously competing for the biggest honours.

Under Erik ten Hag, United continued to endure some real low points, including back-to-back defeats to start the season, as well as thrashings at the hands of both Manchester City and Liverpool. But there was equally plenty to be happy about as the team played with a proper identity for what felt like the first time in a long time and ended a six-year trophy drought by picking up the Carabao Cup.

There is still work to do and United have had a number of false dawns in the 10 years since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. But this time feels different, like it will be sustained with the right backing.

Away from the pitch, the increasingly complicated takeover process rumbles on, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al Thani vying to assume control, albeit with the Glazer family seemingly unsure and arguing with each other about how to proceed.

Outlook heading into the 2022/23 season

The end of the 2021/22 campaign felt like a real low for Manchester United, which is really saying something considering the fortunes of the club at various points in the last 10 years. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had been sacked for a run of five defeats in seven Premier League games in the autumn, to be replaced briefly by Michael Carrick and then by Ralf Rangnick until the end of the season.

Rangnick, who was a questionable choice given just two seasons of much hands-on management in the last decade, had some initial success. But the campaign finished with no silverware for the sixth year in a row, with United also recording their lowest points tally since a 13th place finish in 1989/90, and finishing the season with four defeats in the final six league games.

Erik ten Hag's appointment had been confirmed in April and he started work as soon as possible in May once his commitments at Ajax were complete. The Dutchman hired trusted coaches to come with him, including former United assistant Steve McClaren, and had a hell of a job to do.

But he earned the respect of the squad by joining them on a punishment run on a cancelled day off following August's 4-0 defeat to Brentford and wasn't scared of making the big calls, which saw captain Harry Maguire dropped and Cristiano Ronaldo leave the club altogether.

Man Utd 2022/23 transfers in





5 July 2022

Tyrell Malacia


£13m + £1.7m

15 July 2022

Christian Eriksen


Free transfer

27 July 2022

Lisandro Martinez


£47m + £10m

22 August 2022


Real Madrid

£60m + £10m

1 September 2022



£82m + £4m

1 September 2022

Martin Dubravka



6 January 2023

Jack Butland

Crystal Palace


13 January 2023

Wout Weghorst



1 February 2023

Marcel Sabitzer

Bayern Munich


Man Utd 2022/23 transfers out





30 June 2022

Lee Grant



30 June 2022

Edinson Cavani


Free transfer

30 June 2022

Jesse Lingard

Nottingham Forest

Free transfer

30 June 2022

Juan Mata


Free transfer

30 June 2022

Nemanja Matic


Free transfer

30 June 2022

Paul Pogba


Free transfer

2 July 2022

Dean Henderson

Nottingham Forest


11 July 2022

Andreas Pereira



4 August 2022

Alex Telles



24 August 2022

Eric Bailly



29 August 2022

Hannibal Mejbri



31 August 2022

Amad Diallo



1 September 2022

James Garner



1 September 2022

Tahith Chong



23 November 2022

Cristiano Ronaldo


Free transfer

9 September 2022

Matej Kovar

Sparta Prague


19 September 2022

Shola Shoetire



1 February 2023

Axel Tuanzebe



Man Utd 2022/23 player of the season

Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford had the best season of his career / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Marcus Rashford wasn't alone in enduring a woeful 2021/22 season. He had missed the start of the campaign while recovering from surgery on a long-term shoulder problem and never found his feet, scoring only five times in all competition to record the lowest tally of his career to date.

But Rashford went to the other extreme in 2022/23, reaching 30 goals in a single season for the first time and looking like a player who could be a matchwinner in any given moment.

From late December until late February, it was like he couldn't stop scoring. That included a Manchester derby winner, one against Barcelona and one in the Carabao Cup final. In the first half of the season prior to the World Cup break, Rashford had also already put Arsenal to the sword and scored what proved to be the winner against Liverpool at Old Trafford.

A key moment in his season came when he was dropped by Ten Hag for being late to a team meeting ahead of facing Wolves on New Year's Eve. He refused to sulk, instead winning the game with the only goal when he came off the bench, and putting the incident behind him.

Honourable mentions: Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen

Man Utd 2022/23 goal of the season

Antony vs Barcelona

When United and Barcelona met over two legs in the Europa League knockout playoff in February, they were probbably the two most in-form teams in all of Europe and it would have been worth of a latter stages Champions League tie.

The first leg at Camp Nou had been full of drama and excitement, with United coming from behind and then conceding an equaliser. The second leg then had Barcelona going through after an early Robert Lewandowski penalty, before Fred levelled the aggregate score.

It was set up for Antony, as the second most expensive player in United history, to have his say. Shots from Alejandro Garnacho and Fred were both blocked, but the Brazilian winger found the gap in the defence with his first time pass into the bottom far corner.

Honourable mentions: Marcus Rashford vs Arsenal, Alejandro Garnacho vs Fulham, Jadon Sancho vs Liverpool, Antony vs Arsenal, Casemiro vs Newcastle

Man Utd 2022/23 performance of the season

Man Utd 2-0 Newcastle, Carabao Cup final

Man Utd finished the season with a trophy
Man Utd finished the season with a trophy / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Ten Hag guided United to the first piece of silverware it was possible to win only nine months after taking up position at Carrington, with his side lifting the Carabao Cup in February. Crucially, it ended the concerning trophy drought at six years so that it was no longer an issue or extra burden.

United struggled against Newcastle in the Premier League during the season, drawing at home and then losing at St. James' Park. That makes the convincing nature of the win at Wembley all the more impressive, with goals from Casemiro and Marcus Rashford killing the contest by half-time.

Honourable mentions: Man Utd 2-1 Barcelona, Man Utd 2-1 Liverpool, Man Utd 3-1 Arsenal, Man Utd 2-1 Man City

Man Utd 2022/23 signing of the season


Casemiro bought into the United way / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Eyebrows were raised when United ageed a deal worth up to £70m to sign Casemiro from Real Madrid. Here was a player who had just won his fifth Champions League title and yet was taking a step down to join a club at its lowest point in more than 30 years. It didn't add up.

The Brazilian enforcer even took a little while to command a place in the team as he learned Ten Hag's methods and tactics. But once he finally became a regular starter, he silenced the critics and United were a much better team with far greater solidity and balance. He quickly embraced the culture at Old Trafford, keen to be part of the club's storied history, and his attitude ingratiated him with fans.

The only real disappointment was the number of games he missed through suspension, bizarrely accumlating various bans during the season, despite a respectable disciplinary record in Spain.

Honourable mentions: Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen

Man Utd 2022/23 most improved player

Diogo Dalot

Diogo Dalot
Diogo Dalot has resurrected his Man Utd career / Matt McNulty/GettyImages

It looked as though Diogo Dalot had no United future when he struggled to command a place under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer joined AC Milan on loan for the 2020/21 season. The full-back remained a fringe player upon returning to Manchester, but began to establish himself once Solskjaer had been sacked.

Dalot has since gone from strength to strength, thriving with an extended run of games. This season was effectively an audition given that his contract was coming towards the end, and within days of the final Premier League game he had been awarded a new deal until at least 2028.

Honourable mentions: Marcus Rashford, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Man Utd 2022/23 disappointment of the season

Losing 7-0 vs Liverpool

Defeat at Anfield was a day to forget
Defeat at Anfield was a day to forget / Michael Regan/GettyImages

One of the games that put a nail in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's coffin towards the end of 2021 was an embarassing 5-0 defeat against Liverpool at Old Trafford. But the 7-0 annihilation at Anfield in March 2023 was a step above and set a new record win for the fixture.

Liverpool didn't actually take the lead until the closing stages of the first half, but United then completely collapsed after the break to let the hosts run riot. Jurgen Klopp's team were 3-0 up within five minutes of the restart and just kept adding to the score-line until it was seven.

The irony for United was that it wasn't a result that had been coming. A late Arsenal winner was their only defeat in the previous 11 Premier League games, a run which included beating Manchester City. It did, however, spark a little blip, with a draw against Southampton and defeat to Newcastle following.

Honourable mentions: FA Cup final defeat, 6-3 Manchester derby thrashing, throwing away 2-0 leagd vs Sevilla in Europa League

Man Utd 2022/23 statistics

Most appearances

  • Bruno Fernnades - 59 (37 Premier League, 6 FA Cup, 2 Carabao Cup, 12 Europa League)
  • David de Gea - 58 (38 Premier League, 6 FA Cup, 5 Carabao Cup, 11 Europa League)
  • Marcus Rashford - 56 (35 Premier League, 6 FA Cup, 6 Carabao Cup, 9 Europa League)
  • Fred - 56 (35 Premier League, 6 FA Cup, 6 Carabao Cup, 9 Europa League)
  • Casemiro - 51 (28 Premier League, 5 FA Cup, 6 Carabao Cup, 12 Europa League)

Top scorers

  • Marcus Rashford - 30 (17 Premier League, 1 FA Cup, 6 Carabao Cup, 6 Europa League)
  • Bruno Fernandes - 14 (8 Premier League, 3 FA Cup, 2 Carabao Cup, 1 Europa League)
  • Anthony Martial - 9 (6 Premier League, 2 Caraba Cup, 1 Europa League)
  • Antony - 8 (4 Premier League, 1 FA Cup, 1 Carabao Cup, 2 Europa League)
  • Casemiro - 7 (4 Premier League, 2 FA Cup, 1 Carabao Cup)
  • Jadon Sancho - 7 (6 Premier League, 1 Europa League)

Most assists

  • Bruno Fernandes - 15 (8 Premier League, 2 FA Cup, 1 Carabao Cup, 4 Europa League)
  • Marcus Rashford - 11 (5 Premier League, 2 FA Cup, 2 Carabao Cup, 2 Europa League)
  • Christian Eriksen - 10 (8 Premier League, 2 Europa League)
  • Fred - 6 (2 Premier League, 2 FA Cup, 1 Carabao Cup, 1 Europa League)
  • Luke Shaw - 6 (2 Premier League, 1 FA Cup, 1 Carabao Cup, 2 Europa League)
  • Casemiro - 6 (3 Premier League, 2 Carabao Cup, 1 Europa League)

Man Utd 2022/23 record in all competitions

  • Premier League - P38, W23, D6, L9, GF 58, GA 43, GD +15, Pts 75, Position 3rd
  • FA Cup - P6, W4, D1(p), L1, GF 13, GA 6, runners-up
  • Carabao Cup - P6, W6, GF 16, GA 2, winners
  • Europa League - P12, W8, D2, L2, GF 21, GA 12, quarter-finals