Manchester United’s tactical tweak to get the full-backs to get higher up the pitch changed the complexion of the game.
Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer could not have asked for a better managerial start at Manchester United. With two wins in a row, and scoring 8 past the opposition, there is no secret that the players and fans have started to enjoy the attacking football under the Norwegian.
But, it was the vice versa under the former manager Jose Mourinho who adopted a defensive methodology and struggled for consistency at Old Trafford. Despite leaking numerous goals, the Portuguese decided to put his trust on the defenders.
In the early part of the game against Huddersfield Town, the Red Devils could not do well in the final third of the game. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from the touchline was pointing his fingers at Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw to advance higher up the pitch to create chances for the attackers.
Noticeable how high and wide Solskjaer wants his full-backs. Fred getting instructions from Phelan to get the ball out to Dalot quicker. Solskjaer constantly pointing forward whenever he’s on the touchline.
— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonESPN) 26 December 2018
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) December 26, 2018
When full-backs kept pushing higher, the visitor’s defence went for a toss and were not able to match Manchester United’s passing and incisiveness. It was constantly giving them trouble which did not allow Huddersfield midfielders to have plenty of possession in the middle.
Marcus Rashford opened the scoring with a fantastic freekick three yards out, followed by Paul Pogba’s brace which sealed the game for the hosts. David Wagner’s side pulled one back in the 88th minute which turned out to be a consolation goal.
Diogo Dalot clocked a speed of 34.69km/hr against Huddersfield Town which made him the fastest during the game. There is no doubt about his pace, but he needs to work on his physical aspect and crossing to hold his place firmly and start over Antonio Valencia.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) 26 December 2018
Diogo Dalot is so underrated. Glad we got him.
— kim (@mufckim) December 26, 2018
Another controversial one here but..
I think United’s player of the season so far has been Luke Shaw. The guy was literally nowhere last season, making the odd appearance on the bench and that was it.
He’s come back this season and been fantastic.
— Hi, My name is Joe (@SayNoMore33) December 25, 2018
After an emphatic victory over the Terriers at Old Trafford, Solskjaer said that his philosophy is to see the fullbacks getting higher up the pitch.
“My philosophy is you’ve got to have width. So today you’ve got Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard wide, but they’re more comfortable coming in, then the full-backs need to go.”
“It’s different when you’ve got Martial or you’ve got Rashford wide, someone who likes to play one-against-one.
“So it depends. But yes I’d like my full-backs to come, that’s more and more in, for me, in modern football, it’s important in modern football to get the full-backs flying on.”
Manchester United will be hoping for a third consecutive victory when they invite Bournemouth to Old Trafford on Sunday.