In preparation for an announcement that will be made soon, I will be providing live analysis of two Champions League matches this week – Manchester United vs RB Leipzig tonight, then Liverpool vs FC Midtjylland tomorrow. Here is #RBLMUN
Both sides using variations of 1-3-5-2 to start the game. Opening goal (Leipzig): Notice how Greenwood fails to close off the passing to Sabitzer. Matic expected that pass to be shut off, so he is not in the half-space to cover. Sabitzer has space to receive facing forward.
Olmo drifts across to occupy Matic from behind, whilst Telles is pinned by the man touchline wide. Neither can press Sabitzer. Forsberg’s central run occupies Lindelof and AWB gambles and follows him too, leaving Angeliño free to score from Sabitzer’s unopposed cross.
Leipzig’s 2nd: Utd fail to stop the initial build-up again, before Nkunku and Forsberg overload the left half-space in MF before finding Sabitzer with time to switch. #RBL wing-backs in the wide spaces for width. Haidara bursts forward before feeding Sabitzer, who can switch back across to Angeliño. RBL occupy Lindelof and Maguire on the edge of the box to isolate AWB against Angeliño, who has time to cross to Haidara. Wing-back to wing-back!
Recording cut out, always helpful. United now looking to overload the left with Shaw & Telles touchline wide, with McTominay or Matic dropping into the back 3 to help progress the ball from defence. AWB high & wide onto RBL’s last line so that Greenwood can occupy the half-space.
Bruno Fernandes is too high. The idea of having a withdrawn CAM/ST drop to make space for fast inside forwards to run into is perfectly valid of course, but not when the guy you want playing the through balls is the one trying to make the space for them.
HT – 2-0 Leipzig. 1-0 – Utd fail to prevent pass into the MF in the half-space, who then exploits Utd’s high line and difficulties tracking runners back towards goal. 2-0 – Utd again don’t stop pass into MF, CBs occupied easily leaving AWB isolated v Angeliño. WB to WB width.
United HT change to 1-4-2-3-1, with VDB drifting in from the left and Shaw overlapping for width. Leipzig began the half in a 1-4-4-2 but fallen back into their original shape, leaving Forsberg and Olmo to transition through the centre when they regain possession.
Utd struggled with their 2nd half aim of creating wide overloads on the left then looking through/over with switches to Rashford & Greenwood. Brought Williams on that side, + Pogba at RCM to provide a different angle for direct balls.
Utd also used Pogba’s height to mark Poulsen on Leipzig’s GKs, preventing them going long to him. Poulsen’s role as a target man was crucial in the build-up to the third goal, though, as Utd failed to deal with an aerial pass in open play. Schoolboy.