The Cup competitions are back as FA Cup’s third round kicked off this weekend with all the Big Boys from Premier League head into the competition. Manchester United, record 11 times winners, opened their campaign against League One side Yeovil Town.Once before Louis van Gaal’s boys have faced a lower ranked opposition in a cup game this season. Yes! No one can forget the 4-0 demolition by MK Dons earlier this season. Thankfully, the Red Devils got their act together and sneaked out a comfortable 2-0 win at Huish Park.Certainly it wasn’t a smooth ride for the Premier League heavyweights against the League One strugglers.Here are the five points which stood out in this game:
#1 Curious case of 3-man defence
Louis van Gaal, in his tenure at Old Trafford, has flirted a lot with the shape of his side. Sometimes forcibly due to truckloads of injuries or sometimes purely out of love for his philosophy, but the result has been a mixed bag.
United players’ lack of tactical flexibility to play in a back three has been exposed innumerable times. More often than not they have ground out results rather than blowing their opponents away, whenever they have played with a back three.
Tonight for the umpteenth time we saw them being uneasy with a back three. In first half, the visitors were shambolic to say the least. The three centre-halves were completely out of sync with each other and furthermore the wingbacks were no better either. Both Rafael and Luke Shaw were caught napping quite a few times. The young wingbacks failed to minimize the space they left behind every time they bombed forward.
It was only in the second half when they reverted to a back four when we saw a more familiar Manchester United. The ease displayed by Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair in full-back roles was evident as they looked more settled, especially McNair, who is naturally a centre-half.