Newcastle United – Manchester United: Solskjær’s run continues as United beat defensive Newcastle (0-2)

During the first half, the mobility and vision of Juan Mata allowed United to control an unruly Newcastle side. During the second half, the entrance of Jonjo Shelvey and a more aggressive defense allowed Newcastle to better control the game. However, United’s superior offensive talent would ultimately allow them to create the better chances… and score them.
Tactical analysis by José Pérez.


United have been sailing smoothly under caretaker coach Ole Gunnar Solskjær. It is hard to know how much of United’s improved results are due to the upswing that generally occurs when changing managers, and how much is due to Solskjær’s more proactive tactics. That being said, Solskjær has certainly lifted the veil of gloominess hovering over the club, and their players and fans now seem far more optimistic when looking towards the future.

Against Newcastle, Solskjær continued the use of a 4-2-3-1 shape, as well as some squad rotations compared to the prior game against Bournemouth. In defense, keeper David De Gea was guarded by central defenders Phil Jones and Victor Lindelöf, and fullbacks Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia. Midfield saw the continued use of Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matić at the double pivot, 4-2-3-1 is one of the most frequently occurring formations in football. The two most defensive midfielders are called a ‘double pivot’. with Pogba enjoying his new, more advanced midfield . . .

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Jose Perez (27) writes and talks about anything football-related: players, tactics, advanced statistics and analytics, the relationship between football and society. Whenever he is not working on high-power lasers, his main focus is La Liga but he tries to keep up with all big five European leagues and Champions / Europa League. Outside of Between the Posts, you can find him arguing with people and reviewing matches on Twitter or answering questions on Quora. [ View all posts ]

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