Tue. Jan 26th, 2021

Man Utd

News

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has the tools to exploit Southampton’s defensive weakness

3 min read

Manchester United have won three consecutive matches in a row for the first time since the new campaign started in September, and the hope is that run will continue against Southampton on the weekend.

The Saints are ranked fifth in the table at present above Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, but United appear very well-suited to exploiting a weakness that Southampton have suffered from already this season.

Ralph Hassenhuttl’s outfit actively attempt to close down their opponents by pressing in numbers high up the field, but in order for that approach to work, they must also employ a relatively daring defensive line.

That high line is typically made up of Kyle Walker-Peters, Jan Bednarek, Jannik Vestergaard and Ryan Bertrand; those players are capable of performing to a good standard, but the two central defenders lack pace yet are instructed to defend in a proactive manner.

As a consequence, the Saints have suffered from the space behind their defence being exploited by through passes and quick attacking players such as Son Heung-min and Timo Werner, with Alex McCarthy uncomfortable sweeping up far from his goal unlike most goalkeepers representing aggressive teams.

The former – incredibly – scored four goals in 30 minutes at St. Mary’s while the latter found the net twice for Chelsea and also registered an assist against Hasenhuttl’s outfit, with the build up to the first of his goals pictured below as he fooled Bednarek into making a challenge before darting in behind him.



Timo Werner makes a clever run behind Southampton's defence and scores
Timo Werner makes a clever run behind Southampton’s defence and scores

Solskjaer has similar forwards at his disposal considering the qualities of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in particular, with both of those players being amongst the fastest in England’s top-flight.

If United can exploit Southampton’s defensive line similarly to how Tottenham and Chelsea have this season, they will surely find the net and maybe deliver three points.

Free Manchester United newsletter



Manchester United returned to winning ways in the Champions League with a 4-1 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir at Old Trafford.

Bruno Fernandes’ brace set Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side on course for a third successive win, with Marcus Rashford and Daniel James also on the scoresheet.

MEN Sport will bring you all the reaction and analysis from United’s win and the build up to the Southampton game this weekend. You can have it all delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to our daily newsletter. Just put your email address in the sign-up box at the top of this article, or simply follow this link. It’s free and only takes a few seconds.

Spurs used Harry Kane as a link between Hassenhuttl’s midfield and defence and he registered four assists, with the striker regularly able to turn and feed Son’s penetrative runs, which is a game plan that Bruno Fernandes could potential execute.

Whatever tactical approach Solskjaer comes up with for this weekend’s clash, Southampton’s proactive approach to defending is highly likely to form the crux of it.

Copyright © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.