April 21, 2021

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Carragher dispels defensive myth after Man United draw with Chelsea

3 min read

Jamie Carragher has defended Manchester United’s performance against Chelsea, arguing it was more attacking than their other displays against the Big Six this season.

United recorded yet another goalless draw against a Big Six side on Sunday, drawing 0-0 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after seeing a penalty claim controversially turned down.

Their only Premier League goal against a Big Six side this season came in a 6-1 defeat to Spurs, with United having since recorded goalless draws against the likes of Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea twice, along with being beaten 1-0 by Arsenal.

Carragher had previously criticised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for his approach in those matches, with the former Liverpool defender arguing that United should be looking for more than defensive displays.


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Yet, speaking on Sky Sports, Carragher analysed Solskjaer’s tactics in the draw with Chelsea and said it was much-improved.

He said: “If someone like Jose Mourinho has those results, we’ve been very critical on this show when he was the Man United manager, and when we talk about going for it, I think there’s a difference between what you do on the ball and what you do off the ball.

“When we criticise Jose in the past, it was almost because when they didn’t have the ball, it was almost a back six, it was really deep.

“I think this was one of the bravest and most on the front foot I’ve seen Man United without the ball. So, I actually thought they were very brave in this game.

“It was mainly the wide players and how they nullified Chelsea. Basically, what happened was, the two wide players in James and Rashford had a job to do – the front three of United were to press the back three, it was almost man-to-man all over the pitch.

“When it was on one side, the job of the wide player was to come inside and nullify Chelsea’s box midfield.

“So, what we saw a lot was United finding themselves in the situation of Fred, McTominay, Bruno Fernandes and then the wide player inside, so Manchester United always found themselves with four players in the centre.”

He continued: “What also happened was Wan-Bissaka being really brave – full-back vs wing-back – that’s what happened all the way through the game.

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Manchester United were denied a penalty in controversial fashion against Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players were furious that Callum Hudson-Odoi wasn’t penalised for a handball, as they had to settle for a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge. The point leaves United 12 points behind leaders Man City, with Crystal Palace the next opponents.

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“That’s what they did to nullify Chelsea, to stop them playing, so they were very brave in the press.

“We’ve spoken loads about United’s defence not pressing high enough. This again, for me, is the most on the front foot I’ve seen.

“This almost cost United the game and almost won them the game.”

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