Atalanta BC – Manchester United: Stretford Savior Subverts The Divine (2-2)
On the holy ground of the Gewiss Stadium, the divinities graced this duel with their presence. Under the aegis of Gian Piero Gasperini, Atalanta's back five trumped that of their visitors, setting the side on their way to a win. But Manchester United have a demigod of their own, who bagged a clutch brace on the evening to end up becoming the thorn in La Dea's side once again.
Tactical analysis and match report by Emmanuel Adeyemi-Abere.
Manchester United have reached a crisis point. A 5-0 rout at home to Liverpool was the nadir of Ole Gunnar Solskjær's time at the club, raising scrutiny over his position to a new high. With his back to the wall, the manager's switch to a back five saw his men seal a 3-0 win over an abject Spurs outfit. But such precarious survival merely highlights the lack of strategy that holds back this institution. So could a master of long-term planning, and the back five at that, finally put an end to their misery?
Atalanta may have slowly evolved from pretenders into a fully fledged member of the Italian elite, but they are still a daring enterprise. For them, the back five is a tool to use on the front foot, encouraging risk both with and without the ball. A raft of injuries at . . .