3 tactical changes against Newcastle United that possibly saved Jose Mourinho’s job
Manchester United were handed a bit of respite following Saturday’s massive victory over Newcastle United. The Red Devils pulled off one of the most sensational comebacks in Premier League history to record a dramatic 3-2 win over Raphael Benitez’s men.
On a day when the Old Trafford crowd was looking forward to seeing a reaction from the Man United players, things rather started on a bad note.
Jose Mourinho – with earlier reports suggesting he would be fired after the game – was visibly under pressure and could only watch on as his side fell behind after just seven minutes of play.
A poor defensive display from the Red Devils allowed Kenedy to sneak in to put the Magpies into an early lead. But if that goal was bad news, things turned even worse when Newcastle went 2-0 up by the 10th minute.
However, a tactical masterclass from Mourinho ensured that Man United came out in the second half as the better side. The Red Devils completely changed the tempo of the game, with goals from Juan Mata, Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez helping the team record an all-important 3-2 comeback win.
This was a win that gave Mourinho and a huge sigh of relief and, in truth, the Portuguese deserves credit for some tactical decisions he made during the game.
Here are three tactical switches from Mourinho which saved the day for Man United and to an extent the manager’s job as well:
#3 Freeing up his attackers
It is rare for Jose Mourinho to end a game with as many as five attacking players on the field. The Portuguese is usually the pragmatic type and often prefers to keep things tight and safe. However, against Newcastle, Mourinho threw caution to the wind and decided to free up all his attackers.
Having seen his side go 2-0 down at the break, Mourinho decided to take off the uninspiring Marcus Rashford and bring on Alexis Sanchez. By then, the Red Devils already had Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba and Juan Mata already on the pitch.
This meant, for the first time this season, Man United had as many as five attacking players in the team for a single game. It was, therefore, no surprise that three of those attacking players were on the scoresheet to propel the team to victory.
The decision to release all of his attacking players is one that paid off, and in hindsight, Mourinho would know that it probably saved him his job as Man United manager as well.