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Manchester United's flight from Melbourne to Perth was delayed after a military jet reportedly landed on the runway and blocked the plane.
United's players and backroom staff were left stranded on the tarmac for 45 minutes when an armed forces aircraft temporarily suspended their Boeing 747 plane from departing so that a critically injured man onboard could receive urgent treatment.
According to the Daily Mail, the Red Devils were preparing to jet off from a private airfield when the incident occurred. United are due to play fellow Premier League side Aston Villa on Saturday to round off the Australian leg of their pre-season tour.
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Whilst pre-season matches can only be analysed to a minor degree, due to rotated personnel and differing climates, Man Utd's results do seem to highlight significant signs of improvement under new boss Erik ten Hag.
Blitzing arch-rivals Liverpool 4-0 in their opening friendly, the Red Devils were three goals up inside half an hour. Liverpool fans could quite rightly point out Jurgen Klopp fielded a second-string side, though Jordan Henderson, Alisson, Harvey Elliott, Roberto Firmino and Luis Diaz still all started in the Bangkok trouncing.
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Finding themselves 1-0 down via some "pack of cards" defending against Melbourne Victory, United regrouped to once again put four past their opponents, before rounding off their south coast stay with a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace – though youngster Will Fish was dismissed late on.
Prior to the delayed take-off, club legend Bryan Robson had hailed the pre-season tour as a roaring success. "I love it. We haven’t had to go through customs or anything," he said. "Just dropped off by the bus and get straight on the plane – can’t get better.
"When you get service like this… I know inland flights in Australia are really good anyway, but when you’ve got a private plane like this there’s nothing better than getting off the coach and straight onto the plane." Man Utd touched down in Perth on Thursday and later hosted an opening training session in front of fans at the WACA cricket stadium.
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- Manchester United FC
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