The Dutchman has made a slow start to life at Old Trafford since his £35million move from Ajax over the summer, having struggled to break into a midfield already packed full of quality.
Van de Beek played most often as the most attacking of Ajax’s central midfield trio, scoring 28 Eredivisie goals across the last three seasons, but at United that role is already occupied by Bruno Fernandes.
United have struggled at home this season, particular against so-called smaller teams, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s preference for playing two holding midfielders criticised.
But on Tuesday night he released the shackles somewhat, with Van de Beek playing alongside Fred in a double pivot and Fernandes in front of them, and the Dutchman is happy to curtail some of his more attack-minded instincts for the good of the team.
Asked about the previously untested midfield setup, Van de Beek told MUTV: ‘Yeah it worked really well.
‘Some games I play number 10, and sometimes the coach needs me to control possession [in a deeper role] – that’s fine for me.
‘Before in Ajax I was also playing in that position, so it’s okay.’
He continued: ‘I think we have also some chances to make the fourth goal but we didn’t do that.
‘We lost too many balls and then you lose that control over the game. That was not good from our side.
‘I think first half was really good especially the first 30 minutes, we played really nice football, we scored really nice goals.
‘I think second half we lose too many balls and we gave them some chances. But last five minutes we controlled the game again and we made a nice goal also.’