16 Th3 2022 | 07:00
Ralf Rangnick talks about Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire collaboration
Welcoming Atletico Madrid in the second leg of the round of 16, Man Utd with home advantage actively pushed the squad to gain control. Coach Diego Simeone’s army accepted to retreat deep to defend, waiting for an opportunity to counterattack. This style of play has inherently made Atletico Madrid’s brand in the European arena.
MU started with enthusiasm, making the La Liga champions somewhat inferior. However, the away team had better quality balls. In the 34th minute, Koke had a hole to tear the Red Devils’ defense, letting Marcos Llorente cross down and let Joao Felix hit David de Gea’s net. Unfortunately, the goal was disallowed because of Llorente’s offside.
However, without waiting too long, in the 41st minute, with the same attack arrangement, Renan Lodi easily opened the scoring for Atletico Madrid after Antoine Griezmann’s accurate cross. It was also the only goal of the match, just enough to help the bull country representative win the ticket to go on.
In the two phases that Los Rojiblancos burned in the MU net (1 was recognized), it can be seen that Diego Simeone’s students have well exploited the space between the central defender and the full-back of the opponent. Looking closely, we see that Harry Maguire has risen very high, leaving the defense behind.
Many Red Devils fans will criticize Maguire in these two phases. In essence, the intention of the former Leicester star is to close the gap between the defense and midfield – this is the task of the interceptor midfielder . Scott McTominay in the day taking on this role did not do well. But it is hard to blame the Scotland player because this position is not his forte.
Once again, the question of why BLD Man Utd has not recruited any quality defensive midfielder in the past few years has arisen. The position plays such an important role, being “patched” by the Red Devils from season to season, since the decline of Nemanja Matic. It is impossible to blame completely on Maguire and the MU defenders, when in front of them is a vast, unshielded void. The duo Koke and Rodrigo de Paul have fully exploited this weakness of the Red Devils.
The task of recruiting a high-class interceptor midfielder is therefore becoming more and more urgent for the Old Trafford team. This is the position that BLD Man Utd needs to prioritize in the next summer transfer window.