World Cup-winning manager Marcello Lippi has admitted he’s shocked by Manchester United’s inability to take a game to other teams.
The Reds were beaten 1-0 by Italian champions Juventus in a professional performance from the favourites to win the UEFA Champions League.
At no point did Man United look to impose their style of play on Massimiliano Allegri’s side. The same has been true in many other games for Jose Mourinho’s side, although there has been some good spells, including in comeback results against Newcastle United and Chelsea.
Lippi, who guided Italy to glory in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, has insisted that United have to start being proactive. That’s true even for games against the very best teams.
“I was surprised by the non-play of Manchester United,” Lippi said, according to Corriere dello Sport, an Italian outlet.
“United can’t stand and watch another team for an hour, even if it’s a super Juve.
“A team with that technical quality remained closed, as they’d already done for a long time against Chelsea.”
United have constantly been allowing teams to force the game into a certain style. Juventus scored an early goal and then allowed their incredibly solid defence to do the rest.
Mourinho’s side have often been criticised as being reactive, but it’s time for United to impose their style on other teams. Even if that means allowing an open game, that’s fine. United’s attack is better than most other sides, while their defence is not. So Mourinho should allow his attackers to take the game to other teams.