Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed that Manchester United’s improved defensive record is actually down to the better shape of his side’s midfield.
Manchester United‘s defensive record under Jose Mourinho this season was nothing short of shambolic, with the Red Devils leaking goals with alarming regularity, conceding 33 goals in the Portuguese’s 24 games in charge, keeping just five clean sheets.
While much has been talked about how Solskjaer has improved Manchester United’s attacking play, the Norwegian has also overseen a drastic improvement at the back, where they have conceded just nine times in his 14 games in charge, keeping a clean sheet in seven of them.
Their latest clean sheet came in the 0-0 draw with league leaders Liverpool at the weekend, with United’s defence restricting their rivals feared front line to just one shot on target, with Mohamed Salah being hooked after 79 minutes after being shackled by Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof.
With Manchester United travelling to London to face Crystal Palace this evening, the caretaker manager has revealed how he has brought around their defensive improvement.
“We have spent a lot of time on the structure, how we defend,” Solskjaer said in his pre-match press conference.
“The first few games [of my tenure] did not give us too many challenges in that respect, but then we went to Arsenal and you could see how we were pulled all over the play in midfield. Our poor back four were like battering rams.
“The midfield shape has improved a lot – it has helped the back four to play as a back four and not been scattered all over the place.
“My principle has never been for ‘you to follow him, and you to follow him’, in the teams I have played and the teams I have coached it has been a zonal system. I have not been a favourite of man-marking systems.”
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