Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Will get Derby Techniques Proper as Man Utd Reply to Leipzig Defeat With Present of Defensive Character
19 December marks two years since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer returned to Manchester United as head coach, and if there was per week that finest encapsulated his reign up to now, maybe it has been this previous one.
After an embarrassing exit within the Champions League by the hands of RB Leipzig, United responded with simply sufficient character within the Manchester derby to maintain requires the supervisor’s head at bay, with a spirited show incomes a degree in a 0-0 draw with Manchester Metropolis.
Out of the 2 sides, United in all probability got here the closest to edging it after Marcus Rashford appeared to have received a penalty, nevertheless it was disallowed for offside. Metropolis would stamp their authority on the sport within the second half, controlling possession, however United held agency, and for a facet that has demonstrated obtrusive defensive fragilities over the course of the previous few video games, that was encouraging to see.
Solskjaer isn’t any stranger to individuals doubting his tactical acumen, however Manchester Metropolis – searching for their sixth win a row – have been stifled right here. With United establishing in a diamond midfield, the guests struggled to go by way of the traces, and whereas United weren’t capable of conjure up a lot on the different finish, a clear sheet suggests the system nearly did its job.
Metropolis nonetheless had possibilities, with Kevin De Bruyne blasting over an inviting rebound within the first half. However their strengths have been negated by what turned a decidedly conservative method from United, and with that got here an rising sense of exasperation for the away facet.
That is to not say Metropolis weren’t ready for a crimson roadblock. De Bruyne, in his pre-match interview, had spoken about how his facet have been cautious of such an method from their metropolis rivals, given the truth that Solskjaer’s males had come out on high in three of the final 4 derbies using that technique.
However Metropolis have been far too ponderous, and sustaining organisation didn’t show too troublesome a problem for United because of this.
It was United who seemed the larger menace early on. They’ve made a behavior of taking pictures themselves within the foot whereas the sport continues to be in its infancy, taking place early in wins in opposition to West Ham United and Southampton earlier than all of it got here unstuck in opposition to Leipzig, however right here was a constructive, centered begin, and one which had Metropolis struggling to search out their rhythm.
Pep Guardiola’s facet would develop in stature as the sport progressed however, nonetheless, United have been troublesome to interrupt down, and a degree in opposition to a Metropolis crew in red-hot type was the least they deserved.
That is to not say it was a whole efficiency from United at Outdated Trafford – removed from it. Apart from a zestful opening ten minutes, United lacked ambition, turning the headline fixture of the Premier League weekend into considerably of a dour affair.
It is one win in six at dwelling now, as properly, and for a facet with ambitions of difficult on the high finish of the desk, that’s unacceptable.
However after a turbulent week, at the very least it wasn’t one other catastrophe. Paul Pogba, whose future has been underneath the highlight after feedback from his agent, Mino Raiola, carried out properly. As did Bruno Fernandes, and Fred – who soldiered on after choosing up a hip harm early within the recreation.
There are nonetheless main points to handle, most notably the dearth of consistency of their performances. It has been obscure what United actually are this season, with video games just like the 6-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur and the 5-0 win over Leipzig leaving you scrambling for explanations. In the meantime, the precise proportion of that chaos that’s attributable to Solskjaer’s fixed modifications of system continues to be a supply of debate.
For now, although, his facet are nearly staying afloat.
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