Jose Mourinho questions Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Man United tactics

Jose Mourinho questions Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's tactical approach for Man United's 3-0 loss at FC Barcelona in the Champions League

Jose Mourinho (Photo: The Sport Review)
Jose Mourinho (Photo: The Sport Review)

Jose Mourinho has claimed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got his tactics wrong in Manchester United’s 3-0 loss to FC Barcelona in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final last week.

The Red Devils made the trip to Catalunya looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit after Luke Shaw’s own goal proved the difference between the two sides at Old Trafford in the first leg.

Manchester United have enjoyed good away form in the Champions League this season following their 2-1 win at Juventus in the group stage and impressive 3-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of their round of 16 clash in the French capital.

However, Solskjaer’s side had their hopes of another famous comeback dashed inside two minutes when FC Barcelona captain Lionel Messi scored two quick-fire goals.

Former Liverpool FC midfielder Philippe Coutinho ended the tie as a content when the Brazil international netted in the second half to set up a meeting with his former club in the last four.

Solskjaer’s predecessor Mourinho felt that the Manchester United manager got his tactics wrong for the Champions League clash at Camp Nou.

“Messi’s position is easy to understand but it is not easy to create a cage to control him,” Mourinho told Russia Today.

“He comes from the right, then stays in the middle, then [Ivan] 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 – but I think in this match that they started with a different perspective.

“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.

“But Barcelona is Barcelona, they have better players than Manchester United and I think it’s normal they won.”

Manchester United are facing the worrying possibility of finishing outside the top four this season given the intense competition from Arsenal, Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur.

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