Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's juggling act works a treat
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer played the perfect hand in Manchester United’s win at Burnley… height, power and aggression got the job done and his team selection was spot on
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got his selection right as Manchester United prevailed
- Solskjaer picked a team to match Burnley’s physicality in the clash at Turf Moor
- United’s strength helped them as they went to the top of the Premier League
- He can now make changes at Anfield to tackle the threat posed by Liverpool
One game at a time. Burnley first, then Liverpool. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was clear about his intentions and good to his word.
The Manchester United manager picked a team to match Burnley’s physicality at Turf Moor on Tuesday night. ‘A proper sample of English football,’ as he described it before kick-off.
This was a big United team. Eric Bailly at the back, Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic in the middle, and Edinson Cavani up top.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got his team selection right as Manchester United overcame Burnley
Harry Maguire played even though he was one booking away from missing Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash at Liverpool through suspension.
Luke Shaw was fortunate to avoid a red card for his follow through on Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Cavani had an early talking to from referee Kevin Friend, while Bailly and Aaron Wan-Bissaka formed a tag team and took it in turns to pummel Ashley Barnes.
It was a team picked to do a specific job against a typically combative Burnley, regardless of what awaits on Sunday.
Nemanja Matic helped United to cope with Burnley’s physicality as they went top of the table
Solskjaer will make changes at Anfield. Victor Lindelof could come in for Bailly if his back is up to it.
Scott McTominay and Fred could bring more energy to the midfield, although it is likely to be in addition to — rather than instead of — Pogba who scored a brilliant goal.
Martial could revert to a central role if he is fit, allowing Marcus Rashford to switch to his preferred position on the left and Mason Greenwood to come back on the right.
It’s a sign of the improvement over the last year that Solskjaer can juggle these kind of options.
Solskjaer selected Harry Maguire even though he was one yellow card away from a suspension
When United lost to Burnley last January in what was the low point of their season, there was mutiny in the stands at Old Trafford and fury towards the Glazers and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward whose home was attacked days later.
United signed Bruno Fernandes before the next Premier League fixture and have been improving ever since.
Enough to win the title? We’ll see. But at least they’re heading in the right direction.
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