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CHRIS SUTTON: Man United should counter-attack against Paris Saint-Germain

Published on: 02 December 2020

Manchester United are good at getting results when they relinquish possession and target opponents on the counter-attack.

Look at their first two group games in the Champions League this season. Away to Paris Saint-Germain, United had 39 per cent possession, and won 2-1. Home to RB Leipzig, United had 47 per cent, and won 5-0.

Problems can crop up when they try to dominate the contest. In their third group game, at Istanbul Basaksehir, United had 68 per cent and lost 2-1.

So tonight against PSG, even though United are at Old Trafford, I’d say relying on the counter and providing protection in front of the defence is key. That might not be what United got used to under Sir Alex Ferguson, when they would forever take the game to the opposition, but it works for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Fred and Scott McTominay — in front of a back three of Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelof and Axel Tuanzebe — did a job on PSG at the Parc des Princes in October. Neymar, Kylian Mbappe (below left) and Angel di Maria were frustrated throughout.

Using that 3-4-1-2 system again might not be the worst idea. When you win the ball, you give it to Bruno Fernandes, as he is more than capable of playing passes into the channels for the forwards to chase.

We know Solskjaer likes his split strikers, so the next question is: does Edinson Cavani start against his old club? As a former striker, I’d be less than pleased if I’d scored two goals and assisted one as a substitute in a 3-2 win then was back on the bench. That would be harsh on Cavani, and I’d like to see him start.



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