Manchester United and RB Leipzig lock their horns in a mouth-watering clash at Old Trafford in what turned out to be a thumping victory for the Red Devils. United came into the match with a draw against Chelsea and was considered underdogs coming into the match against a high flying Leipzig side. The result, Manchester United 5-0 RB Leipzig, came as a shock for the football fraternity as Red Devils trashed Leipzig with a convincing margin. Here is our exclusive Manchester United vs RB Leipzig Tactical Review.
United’s Control in the Midfield
Manchester United was the undisputed winner in the midfield battle yesterday. United basically played with a 4-4-2 diamond shape yesterday which turned into a 4-5-1 shape when Leipzig had the possession. United effectively formed a solid mid-block which blocked Leipzig’s any attempt to play through the centre of the pitch.
As a result, Leipzig was forced to play out the ball wide. United’s midfield press went on a man to man pressing against Leipzig’s back 3 forcing them to play a lot of risky side passes and as the central area was out of bounds a lot of long balls were played from the back which was swept away by the United defenders.
As a result, United was always the dictators in the midfield and controlled the game from the beginning to the end.
United’s Quick Transition to Attack
Manchester United’s midfield general yesterday was Fred, he was the reason behind United’s mobility in the midfield. The main aim for United was to win the ball by pressing the Leipzig players in the central areas and after quickly getting the possession to pass the ball to nearest passing option who would then make the full use of the space in front.
Then the player according to the situation will either play a through ball in between the lines or will pass the ball to the advancing wide players on the flank. United’s 3 goals were scored from such pacy transition from the midfield. It is needless to say Matic and Fred were essential to this plan as they were the ones who would try to make the recoveries, on the other hand, Van De Beek and Pogba were effectively the ball carriers who exploited the half-spaces and played the final pass.
Battle in the Flanks
As the game continued the match was turned into a slugfest to dominate the wide areas or the flanks of the field. United and Leipzig both forced each other to play their game through the wide areas as the game progressed as the pressing and positioning from both sides resulted in difficulty to play the ball through the middle.
Leipzig tried to put pressure on the wide players of the United by pushing Angelino and Heinrichs high up the pitch to put pressure on them. Leipzig was on the other hand find it uncomfortable to play through the wide areas as United created a 1 vs. 2 situation in the flanks. As a result, Leipzig played a lot of side passes and back passes which didn’t test United much. Leipzig failed to switch the play between the flanks to shake up United’s defence and create spaces which United did perfectly on the other hand.
This ensured United was secured from any threat through the wide areas.
Leipzig’s Direct Approach
One of the biggest reasons for downfall for Leipzig last night was their direct approach to the game. Leipzig’s style of play and passing was rather direct which played it into United’s hand. Instead of using the flanks they preferred to play from the centre which was heavily guarded by United.
Angelino as a wingback couldn’t create much from the wide areas of the pitch, Forsberg too played through the centre and was often singled out by the United’s defence. Leipzig could have created overloads in the wing but as the game progressed played a lot of long balls which proved to be a failure against United’s towering defence.
The magic of Rashford on the pitch
The man of the moment for United last night was Marcus Rashford, the academy graduate scored a hattrick against a team who were the semi-finalist of last year. The amount of trickery he showed with his feet was brilliant. Upamecano was mostly busy throughout the game by keeping a tab on the English sensation.
His positioning sense was top class last night as he was always found at the right place in the right time. United’s counter-attacks were successful mostly due to Rashford’s lightning runs from behind the defenders and also his finishing skills need no mention. His pace and finishing skills makes him a lethal player to handle.
That sums up the Manchester United vs RB Leipzig Tactical Review. Manchester United now looks like the favorites to qualify from the group which was predicted as the group of death in this year’s competition. This win also gives a boost to Ole who was under pressure after a dismal start to United’s campaign this season. Leipzig will try to forget this night and will try to move forward with a fresh mind. With the return leg in November, they will try to avenge their loss. From a neutral perspective, this match can be the perfect example of why it’s tough to predict results in the Champions League.
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