Nothing summed up the hopelessness of Manchester United below Ole Gunnar Solskjaer greater than the primary 13 minutes of their 3-2 Champions League defeat to RB Leipzig.
The early levels of a soccer match at any degree are usually fairly cagey with every sides sizing the opposite up. Add to that the truth that United solely required a draw to progress into the knockout levels and it will have taken a courageous individual to guess on their being an early purpose on this one.
Yet, with lower than 120 seconds on the clock, the ball was within the Red Devils’ web.
“We’ve got to look at ourselves.”
“You can’t defend crosses, you’re going to lose matches.”
Man Utd captain Harry Maguire spoke to @andymay after a disappointing 3-2 loss at RB Leipzig. pic.twitter.com/RjhXGoR5fJ
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 8, 2020
There is plenty of blame to go round for this. Let’s begin off with Aaron Wan-Bissaka – who has been having a wonderful season up to now, making his lapses in focus tonight all of the extra stunning.
Despite the goalscorer, Angelino, possessing palms, toes, legs, arm and a face – all of the hallmarks of your common human – Wan-Bissaka determined to not deal with him as such, letting Marcel Sabitzer’s cross attain him fully unmarked on the again put up.
In the United right-back’s defence, a good portion of the blame also needs to be attributed to the person accountable for setting the staff up tactically. Flying full-backs or wing-backs have been a key function of Leipzig’s recreation this season. Despite this, there was little to counsel that Solskjaer had ready or adequately coached his gamers for this eventuality.
The defeat places Solskjaer below actual strain | Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
Sure, the addition of Alex Telles in a complicated left sided place could make it seem to be this was the case however within the apply, did the Brazilian actually find yourself providing Luke Shaw all that a lot safety?
He definitely didn’t for Leipzig’s second purpose which got here simply 11 minutes later and was a close to carbon copy of the primary. Angelino was once more key, taking on a place on the sting the field to obtain one other of Sabitzer’s trademark diagonal passes, which took the congested United midfield and defence out of the sport.
Taking only one contact to set himself, he floated over a cross to Leipzig’s different wing-back Amadou Haidara, who vollied house emphatically. Where had been Shaw and Telles? Nowhere to be seen, a part of an nameless mass of black shirts who appeared decided to not mark anybody all through proceedings.
Haidara produced a wonderful end | DeFodi Images/Getty Images
Both targets made for field workplace viewing for the impartial however United followers weren’t laughing. They had been sighing – and these sighs turned to screams when some extra gamers contrived to placed on a defensive horrorshow of their very own.
The calamities began 20 minutes from time when Victor Lindelof gave the ball away sloppily simply outdoors his personal space. Soon after, a painfully sluggish cross got here in from that man once more, Angelino. For no matter motive, neither Lindelof, nor Harry Maguire, nor David de Gea fancied clearing their traces which afforded Justin Kluivert the possibility to seize Leipzig’s third purpose.
Ignore their late rally, all three of the targets had been unforgivable in a recreation of this magnitude and speaks volumes of the issues which have infested United for a while.
Julian Nagelsmann out coached Solskjaer this night | DeFodi Images/Getty Images
Tactical naivety, some gamers not being as much as scratch for the extent and weak management all performed a job within the membership crashing out of the Champions League. Not for the primary time in latest months, severe questions have to be requested about the place the Red Devils are heading.