Resurgent Rooney, World Class Ibra: Tactical Analysis Of Manchester United’s Win Over West Brom

Manchester United continue their run of wins in the premier league and things look like they are finally shaping up. West Brom looked to rack up another win at home but that was not meant to be as Zlatan Ibrahimovic had other plans. The entire United team did a fantastic job as a unit contributing to their respective roles in splendid fashion.

Lineups

Manchester United were yet again without Mkhitaryan (injury) and Martial (dropped) while the overall shape and tactics were the same.

Rooney started another game out on the wings and did a pretty good job to help cover up for Darmian.

lineups

West Brom looked to maintain their fine run of form but the absence of an in-form Evans didn’t help their case.

United’s fine link up

United scored two fine goals (one a bit fortunate), both of which had a touch of magic by Ibrahimovic. The first goal was a pure case of a counter-attack.

A total of 13 seconds was all it took from the throw in, to the ball reaching the back of the net. A brilliant switch of flanks via Pogba and a smart run from Lingard saw an old fashioned counter attack that left West Bromwich stunned.

first goal

Manchester United stunned West Bromwich with their counter | source:- squawka

It is amazing as to how Zlatan can be clinical in the box if provided with the right crosses.

Wayne Rooney and Phil Jones had top class performances

It goes without saying that the whole team had brilliant performances but Wayne Rooney and Phil Jones had outstanding performances. Jones neutralised the aerial threat of West Bromwich, winning 75% of his aerial headers (squawka.com) while Rooney played a great game on the left.

The left flank isn’t something Rooney has played a lot on but his touches were spot on and his contribution to defence was one that showed he’s there to win his spot in the team back. Rooney’s touches (58 of them) show a pinch of experience, tenacity, brilliant presence on the pitch that helped out the team in both attack and defence.

rooney-touches

Rooney had 58 touches | source:- whoscored.com

While in the centre of the field he drifted a bit towards the centre while remembering his wide roles in attack and defence. The role isn’t a regular but he played it like a true winger would.

Lack of pressure

West Brom lacked the pressing ability to trouble United giving the players in the opposition to attempt through balls that would eventually trouble them.

Playing with a three-man midfield, it was disappointing to see that none of them made an attempt to press the United players, thereby giving them space.

west-brom-crosses

They tried a little too hard with crosses | source:- squawka.com

Their long ball attempts were no less horrific, to say the least with a 23% success not helping their cause. Their crossing (23) wasn’t really impressive either; the ones that completed (4) were not utilised to any extent despite proving to be a possible threat.

Conclusion

Manchester United had one goal – i.e. win. They did so rightfully and intend to carry on this run to catch up with the leaders of the league. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has shown how reliant United have been on him this season. Wayne Rooney is having a sort of resurrection from his initial slump.

Carrick once again has complemented Pogba’s importance in midfield. All in all it has been going well for the Manchester outfit and hopefully, in the long run, this can guarantee a top four finish.

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Rainar Angelo

An ardent follower of Manchester United who in his spare time likes to unravel mysteries of football and music.

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