Sat. Jan 23rd, 2021

Man Utd

News

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s juggling act works as he uses right options to see off Burnley

2 min read

One game at a time. Burnley first, then Liverpool. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was clear about his intentions and good to his word.

The Manchester United manager picked a team to match Burnley’s physicality at Turf Moor on Tuesday night. ‘A proper sample of English football,’ as he described it before kick-off.

This was a big United team. Eric Bailly at the back, Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic in the middle, and Edinson Cavani up top.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got his team selection right as Manchester United overcame Burnley

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got his team selection right as Manchester United overcame Burnley

Harry Maguire played even though he was one booking away from missing Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash at Liverpool through suspension.

Luke Shaw was fortunate to avoid a red card for his follow through on Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Cavani had an early talking to from referee Kevin Friend, while Bailly and Aaron Wan-Bissaka formed a tag team and took it in turns to pummel Ashley Barnes.

It was a team picked to do a specific job against a typically combative Burnley, regardless of what awaits on Sunday.

Nemanja Matic helped United to cope with Burnley's physicality as they went top of the table

Nemanja Matic helped United to cope with Burnley’s physicality as they went top of the table

Solskjaer will make changes at Anfield. Victor Lindelof could come in for Bailly if his back is up to it.

Scott McTominay and Fred could bring more energy to the midfield, although it is likely to be in addition to — rather than instead of — Pogba who scored a brilliant goal. Martial could revert to a central role if he is fit, allowing Marcus Rashford to switch to his preferred position on the left and Mason Greenwood to come back on the right.

It’s a sign of the improvement over the last year that Solskjaer can juggle these kind of options.

Solskjaer selected Harry Maguire even though he was one yellow card away from a suspension

Solskjaer selected Harry Maguire even though he was one yellow card away from a suspension

When United lost to Burnley last January in what was the low point of their season, there was mutiny in the stands at Old Trafford and fury towards the Glazers and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward whose home was attacked days later.

United signed Bruno Fernandes before the next Premier League fixture and have been improving ever since.

Enough to win the title? We’ll see. But at least they’re heading in the right direction.

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