Man Utd 0-2 Man City: Tactical video shows how Pep Guardiola bested Ole Gunnar Solskjaer


Manchester United were left to lick their wounds after suffering a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City at the weekend.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was hoping to maintain his impressive record against Pep Guardiola on the back of a briefly-course-correcting 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur the previous week.

However, the same concerns that blighted their 5-0 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool crept into the Manchester derby with United producing just a single shot on target during the loss.

Man Utd 0-2 Man City

In fact, you’d be forgiven for thinking that City never really needed to move out of first gear with Eric Bailly’s own goal and Bernardo Silva’s strike before half-time proving enough to win the three points.

But how exactly did Guardiola manage to make victory at Old Trafford look quite so easy? Well, that’s what we wanted to take a closer look as a United fans start to carry out their own autopsies.

Only Guardiola and Solskjaer will definitively know their tactical plans coming into the game, but the fascinating tactical analysts over at ‘Football Made Simple’ bring us pretty darn close to knowing.

Man Utd 0-2 Man City Match Reaction (Football Terrace)

Tactical analysis of Guardiola vs Solskjaer

The popular YouTube channel with almost 400,000 subscribers took a closer look at how the Manchester derby played out from a tactical perspective and why Guardiola came out on tap.

In fact, they even included the conclusion: “Pep Shows He’s A Level Above,” in the title, as well as “How Pep Toyed With Ole’ in the thumbnail, to really get the point across.

So, without further ado, be sure to check out their full tactical analysis down below and then keep scrolling to see our breakdown of some of the key points raised during the video:

Guardiola exploiting the 5-3-2

It’s been well publicised that Solskjaer switched to a back five after the Liverpool humiliation, which worked during the Tottenham win, but was ruthlessly exploited by Guardiola this time around.

With five-at-the-back formations meaning that only one player is permanently out wide, Guardiola looked to attack United on the wings by causing overloads that ultimately led to the second goal.

With Bruno Fernandes dropping deeper than usual to stay compact with Fred and Scott McTominay, City would shift the ball to the right-hand side and drag across United’s midfield with their runners.


That, in tandem, would almost always give City the lethal possibility to switch to the left, which would either give Phil Foden a 1v1 against Aaron Wan-Bissaka or free up Joao Cancelo as the spare man.

The latter worked brilliantly just before half-time with City able to drag United’s midfield three out to the right-hand side with an overload, creating space for Cancelo to provide the assist for the goal.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer adapts

To Solskjaer’s credit, he did adapt in the second-half by reverting to a back four, which gave United more protection down the flanks and allowed Fernandes to more closely track Rodri in midfield.


Allowing Scott McTominay space

When United were in possession, Fred and Fernandes pushed forward in the hope that they would have space between the lines if Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri pressed McTominay when he received the ball.

However, Guardiola was able to nullify this by actually giving McTominay time and space, which was problematic as the Scotsman isn’t the most progressive passer and his midfield partners could be marked to remove the easy option.


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Guardiola comes out on top

The analysis video also goes on to explain how United did enjoy some success on the left-hand side when Harry Maguire was able to push into the wide spaces a little like Antonio Rudiger at Chelsea.

So, it’s not as though Solskjaer is completely devoid of credit for the way he approached the game, but it seems clear that the way Guardiola set up his City team from the off proved absolutely critical.

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United might have steadied the ship during the second-half, but the lethal nature of City’s switching against a back five in the opening the 45 minutes was enough to kill off the game there and then.



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