| 2.6°C Dublin

pressing Jamie Carragher's detailed analysis of how Man United changed their fortunes at Spurs

Solskjaer changed his formation and got a more disciplined response from his players

Close

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he is substituted. Photo: Reuters/Matthew Childs

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he is substituted. Photo: Reuters/Matthew Childs

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he is substituted. Photo: Reuters/Matthew Childs

Jamie Carragher didn't hold back in his criticism of Manchester United after their 5-0 defeat against Liverpool last month, but he has now highlighted the impressive qualities they showed as they bounced back at Tottenham on Saturday.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was under huge pressure after Liverpool's thumping win at Old Trafford, with Carragher among those suggesting the club needed a new manager to move forward.

Yet he was impressed by their response against Tottenham, after Solskjaer changed his formation and got a more disciplined response from his players.

"There was talk that Manchester United cannot press high, that they don't have the players to do it," he told Sky Sports' Monday Night Football.

"I don't necessarily agree with that; a team should be able to press high at times and drop off at others. That is what Manchester United did really well at Spurs.

"In the first half, before they took the lead, United were aggressive, on the front foot, and pressed high. Second half they dropped off because the goal changed the game, and they go their other two on the counter from a deeper position. But in the first half Manchester United pressed high.

"United changed the system at Spurs, you expected them to be more organised and the respond, after all, this was a team that had faced a ton of criticism. Instantly you could split the two in two, they had seven players back organised, and three attackers pushed up.

"With less than a minute on the clock you could see the reaction straight away. Edinson Cavani was outstanding, his decision to go and engage the press was aggressive and he sprinted, and it was followed up by Harry Maguire. United were on the front foot, right on top of Spurs.

"Inside the opening minute, there were six Manchester United players in a 12x12 area, together, compact, aggressive - everything they were against Liverpool. There was no doubt they wanted to make that fast aggressive start and put Spurs under pressure.

"There was talk that Manchester United can only defend deep, but they were not deep at Spurs. They played on the halfway line, the front three were pushed right up on the edge of the Spurs box, and when anything went long, Maguire, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof gobbled it up.

"The opening goal absolutely typified the performance. As the Spurs defender headed the ball clear, United had Varane high up against Harry Kane, the distance between Varane and Ronaldo was 21 yards.

"This was not a team defending deep, it was a team on the front foot, high and aggressive, and also narrow and compact. It was almost like watching Manchester City, Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham, Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, on the front foot with all 10 outfield players together, compact.

"Because Maguire was up high, he kept the attack alive, and that is where the first goal came from as Fernandes' fantastic pass was volleyed in by Ronaldo."

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Solskjaer may still be under pressure at United, but Carragher believes amore compact United could offer him a route to success this season.

"Manchester United were outstanding. I know there has been a lot of talk since about how poor Tottenham were, but we cannot criticise United for conceding five goals at home against Liverpool, looking all over the place, and then going to Spurs and stopping the opposition having a shot on target," he added.

"Any away ground in the Premier League is a difficult game so you cannot keep looking at Spurs, it was really good from Manchester United."

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Privacy