Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's winning tactics for Cardiff 1-5 Man Utd explained by journalist

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made the perfect start as Manchester United's interim manager on Saturday with a 5-1 victory against his former employers, Cardiff City.

Goals from Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard (2) sealed victory in Wales following Jose Mourinho's sacking on Tuesday.

It was the first time the Red Devils have scored five goals in a Premier League game since Sir Alex Ferguson was manager, which speaks volumes about the club's struggles since.

United looked refreshed against Cardiff and it seems to be because Solskjaer has reintroduced the kind of attacking football they were once renowned for.

Whereas Mourinho deployed a defensive style of play, Solskjaer wants his players to run at defences and exploit the channels.

This is something Wayne Rooney spotted on BT Sport, with the ex-United striker pointing out at half-time that Ashley Young and Luke Shaw were given license to bomb forward. 

"I think it felt very different," said Rooney, per the Mirror. "Obviously the scoreline being 3-1 makes it feel a lot better and makes feel you great. Everyone's happy.

"But I think the big difference are the two full-backs - Luke Shaw and Ashley Young. In particular, Ashley Young.

Cardiff City v Manchester United - Premier League

"The positions they're taking up when United have the ball is something you've never seen under Mourinho. I just think the overall attitude and the way they’ve taken directions has been fantastic."

It will undoubtedly take time for United's players to adapt to Solskjaer's philosophy, which RMC Sport journalist Sebastien Champuis has detailed in an interesting Twitter thread.




Champuis wrote: "Solskjaer's Manchester United. Wide rotation to play out: ball side midfielder pushes forward with winger dropping to collect.

"With Mourinho, ball side midfielder dropped in to allow fullback to push on. Winger was meant to be found behind the lines. Explaining tactics simply."

So there you have it - the main difference between Solskjaer and Mourinho's tactics is that Solskjaer likes his wingers to drop in and collect possession, allowing the full-backs to push forward.

It also allows United's midfielders to find pockets of space between the opposition's defence and midfield, which explains why Paul Pogba had so much freedom against Cardiff.

Anthony Martial
Jose Mourinho
Paul Pogba
Luke Shaw
Premier League
Wayne Rooney
Manchester United

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