Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has criticised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for his tactics against Barcelona in the Camp Nou.
Man United went at the Camp Nou with a 1-0 deficit and lost the game 3-0 mainly due to Messi’s brilliance. And now Jose Mourinho has come out to suggest that it was the wrong approach against one of the best players of all time.
“I think the United approach was different.
“In the first leg, they tried to occupy that central zone. Messi’s position is easy to understand but it is not easy to create a ‘cage’ to control him.
“He comes from the right, then stays in the middle, then Rakitic goes right and allows him to stay in the middle. It’s very difficult.
“Manchester United in the first match zonally they occupied that area very well. When he came into the inside he was finding Fred, he was finding McTominay coming to the inside all the time.
Fred and McTominay performed brilliantly against Barcelona at the Old Trafford, but things changed at the Camp Nou. Mourinho thinks he knows why that happened:
“But I think in this match because United were losing 1-0 they tried to start with a different perspective.
“Now it was Pogba wide left, McTominay much more on the right and Jesse Lingard starting as a 10 behind the strikers.
“In front of the defensive line was only Fred. That’s the area that Messi comes to get the ball and when Messi has the ball..one, one, one…you are dead.
“That’s why I never liked individual man-on-man against Messi.
“Messi’s a cage, you have to create a cage. Barcelona is Barcelona, they have better players than Manchester United. I think it’s normal they won.”
Maybe, Mourinho is right here. Maybe, our approach wasn’t the ‘correct’ one. But, all we have to say is that there’s no way we would have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League if the Portuguese were still in charge!