Norwich City 1-3 Manchester United: 3 tactics from Solskjaer that won United the game
When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ended Liverpool’s 100% record in the Premier League last weekend, he managed to display an astute side of his management skills that had been missing of late. The Norwegian was spot on with his tactics, which rendered the Liverpool frontline ineffective for much of the game.
Against Norwich on Sunday, Solskjaer knew he had to win the tactical battle against Daniel Farke. The German manager shocked the world when he defeated Manchester City convincingly earlier this season. But he failed to build on that win, falling down to 19th in the Premier League table.
Still, Norwich were only a win away from moving out of the relegation zone, which made the tie against Manchester United all the more important.
Solskjaer was aware that his team needed to be at their best to get the better of the Canaries, and he made just one change to the team that drew against Liverpool last weekend. The Norwegian opted for David de Gea in goal, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Ashley Young making up a back four.
Fred and Scott McTominay continued as the midfield double pivot, while Andreas Pereira operated in the No. 10 role. The front line comprised of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James.
United were the better team in the opening stages, and despite two penalty misses, were 2-0 up in the first half courtesy of goals from McTominay and Rashford. Norwich mounted an onslaught on the United goal after the break, but it was United who scored through Martial to go 3-0 up.
Onel Hernandez scored a consolation goal for the home side in the dying minutes of the game, as United went on to win 3-1.
Here are 3 tactics from Solskjaer that helped earn his team all 3 points against Norwich City.
#3 Reverting back to a back four
Solskjaer would have been forgiven for continuing with a three-man defense against Norwich City. However, the Norwegian threw caution to the wind and went for the kill; United started with a back four in order to accommodate an extra attacker in the team, and it proved to be a masterstroke.
The Red Devils were rarely threatened, and the back-four had a largely comfortable day on the pitch. They were unlucky to concede in the dying minutes of the game, but by switching to a back four, Solskjaer gave his team a huge advantage going forward.
The Norwegian’s courage and faith in his players are starting to pay off.