#sports activities Man United restored old-fashioned values vs Liverpool as Erik ten Hag delivered coaching masterclass
Roy Keane couldn’t cover his delight at Manchester United’s swashbuckling victory over Liverpool.
And little surprise. The Red Devils rolled again the years to the glory days of Keane’s period, when aggression, graft and guile ignited the gang and made Old Trafford a fearful enviornment for visiting groups.
Rarely lately has this disaffected membership seemed so, nicely, united and United. But final evening, coach, gamers and followers, (regardless of the pre-match protests in opposition to the Glazer household), grew to become completely aligned once more and collectively they overwhelmed their rivals.
Erik ten Hag’s aspect improved in nearly all facets in opposition to Liverpool at Old Trafford
‘They’ve gone again to fundamentals, they have been aggressive and stretched Liverpool,’ the previous midfielder purred.
‘They look sharp, actually contemporary,’ he instructed Sky Sports.’With Liverpool, there’s gaps in all places. [Man Utd] are making Liverpool look common.’
In previous eight days, Erik ten Hag liberated his gamers from the shadow of underperformance and the disgrace of their 4-0 humiliation at Brentford final outing to someway re-energise them.
He sharpened their aggressive intuition, in order that they performed, if not but with a swagger, then at the very least a snarl, which was epitomised in each second by Lisandro Martinez and has all the time been a function of the perfect United sides.
Former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane preferred what he noticed from his previous membership
Keane performed in an period of giant success for United by which aggression and guile had been required
Keane, Gary Neville, Jaap Stam, Nemanja Vidic and Eric Cantona had been by no means good to play in opposition to. They let opponents know they’d arrived on the Theatre of Dreams, and for a lot of it was a nightmare.
On prime of that, the Dutchman modified his personal strategy, transferring away from a possession-based construct up, to a kore direct recreation, which suited his gamers and this event completely. This was a tactical masterclass from ten Hag.
The lengthy recreation…
In pre-season, the cameras caught ten Hag berating his goalkeeper, David de Gea, for going lengthy with a clearance, when he may have performed quick.
During the 3-1 win in opposition to Crystal Palace, de Gea cleared his strains whereas Charlie Savage failed to indicate for the quick possibility. Ten Hag was heard screaming: ‘What the f*** are you doing?’
Last evening, there was no confusion: De Gea was going lengthy.
David de Gea was allowed to play lengthy passes in opposition to Liverpool, fairly than cross out
The goalkeeper launched the ball 35 occasions in opposition to Liverpool, in comparison with 9 lengthy passes in opposition to Brentford and eight within the residence defeat to Brighton on the opening weekend.
It will need to have challenged ten Hag to go in opposition to his ideas and U-turn on his earlier directions. However, pragmatism in a supervisor is a energy, even whether it is generally portrayed as weak point, and so it proved right here.
In their first two video games, United had been repeatedly caught in possession deep inside their defensive third. They merely should not have the gamers, in objective or in midfield, to play that recreation.
But by launching the ball forwards, they not solely negated one among Liverpool’s best strengths, the press, in addition they turned these lengthy passes into possession excessive up the sphere by the endeavour of Marcus Rashford and his midfield colleagues,
Tuck within the full backs…
United’s efficiency in opposition to Liverpool was a victory for old-fashioned values: The defenders defended and the attackers attacked.
As Keane mentioned, ‘again to fundamentals’.
The positional map reveals that United’s defence sat deeper in opposition to Liverpool than it did within the earlier Premier League defeats and the complete backs, Tyrell Malacia and Diogo Dalot, had been much less superior. Their common place was firmly inside their very own half of the pitch.
United’s Diogo Dalot put in a stable efficiency at proper again in opposition to Liverpool’s Luis Diaz
And Lisandro Martinez pushed up and chased Liverpool forwards deep into the midfield
The intention – and the outcome – was to nullify the threats of Salah and Luis Diaz on the wings with each full backs diligent of their defensive work. Dalot, particularly, took the combat to Diaz.
Another notable distinction was that Martinez performed increased. With tempo within the again line (within the absence of membership captain Harry Maguire, who was left on the bench), the Argentine may step up and he recurrently chased Firmino and Salah again into midfield to disclaim Liverpool an attacking platform inside their very own half.
In reality, he dumped Salah on the Old Trafford turf after simply 35 seconds leaving his shoulder in for good measure as the pair confronted one another afterwards.
Liverpool struggled to maintain the ball once they sought to penetrate United’s defensive strains and Scott McTominay, Christian Eriksen, and later, Fred, snaffled up the scraps within the congested central areas.
As a staff, United performed a lot deeper in opposition to Liverpool, with their full-backs tucking in and defending, with quantity six, Martinez, pushed up in comparison with his earlier efficiency
Against Brentford, Martinez was deeper in comparison with his defensive companion and the complete backs had been increased, their common place being within the opposition half
Similarly, in opposition to Brighton, United performed additional forwards and their full backs pushed on extra
A pink tide…
United misplaced nothing in assault by asking their full backs to defend. In reality, ten Hag made a advantage of it.
By sitting deep United invited Liverpool to push forwards and when the house aspect recovered the ball, they performed fast, vertical passes.
With Liverpool’s personal full backs sometimes excessive up the pitch, the rejuvenated Rashford seemed for the gaps in behind them, isolating Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk and dragging them round.
The positional graphic reveals that Marcus Rashford (r) and Anthony Elanga focused Trent Alexander-Arnold down Liverpool’s right-hand aspect
Even as Liverpool started to dominate possession, they all the time seemed extra susceptible than their canny opponents.
The tempo of Anthony Elanga and Jadon Sancho, coupled with progressive runs of Bruno Fernandes created a pink tide that Liverpool struggled to face up to and it was no shock once they lastly conceded within the sixteenth minute having didn’t regain their form following a break free that led to a sustained assault. Jadon Sancho’s cool end made it 1-0.
Rashford bagged a well-deserved second for his aspect on 53 minutes, after the guests’ central defenders had been left uncovered once more following a fast break.
Targeting Trent Alexander Arnold….
Trent Alexander-Arnold is a unbelievable participant, however he had a torrid night at Old Trafford, notably within the first half when he and his staff mates gave the impression to be stunned by the intent and depth of United.
The positional map reveals how ten Hag got down to exploit Alexander-Arnold’s excessive place, with Rashford and Elanga combining to make his life a distress.
Elanga bypassed the full-back, following a neat one-two, when he arrange the primary objective for Sancho.
The Liverpool defender might nicely really feel he ought to have had extra assist, however the guests’ incapability to achieve management in midfield meant they had been typically again pedalling and at occasions, it felt like each many for himself.
Elanga precipitated issues through the first half and assisted Jadon Sancho for the primary objective
Breaking the Ronaldo hoodoo…
Last season, United had been routinely and pretty criticised for the shortage of coherence of their play when the opposition had the ball.
But final evening they had been cohesive and nicely drilled. They employed an brisk press, led by Rashford, with Fernandes, Eriksen and Sancho chopping off the passing lanes, backed up by McTominay, who maintained his positional self-discipline in entrance of the again 4.
It is notable that these gamers dominated United’s statistics for ball recoveries. chopping off the availability to Liverpool’s assault.
Cristiano Ronaldo was on the bench for the match in opposition to Liverpool, making a late look
There was by no means a state of affairs by which a Liverpool participant was in a position to bear down on the United again line along with his head up. The hole between defence and midfield was simply too slim; United had been too compact.
Behind this success, after all, lay ten Hag’s largest determination. By dropping Ronaldo for Rashford, the Dutchman may construct stress on defenders and set traps, which snapped shut on Liverpool’s assaults again and again, enabling United to recuperate possession in good areas.
This efficiency might show to be a blueprint for future success, notably if ten Hag’s newest try and safe the companies of ball participant, Frenkie de Jong, fails.
But maybe much more necessary, ten Hag has damaged the hoodoo that has surrounded Ronaldo. Regardless of what goes on behind the scenes, that circus has been disyracting.
The coach has absolutely now established the significance of the staff above the person, the worth of tactical self-discipline and he will need to have secured the belief of his gamers, who loved a memorable evening. United might lastly be capable of transfer forwards.
Victory over Liverpool was a tactical and motivational triumph for supervisor Erik ten Hag